Steve Martin

Designer, Thinker, Student of Human Behavior

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My continued campaign against icon-only UI's

Q: What happens when you opt for icons ONLY on an interface so you can save on translation costs?A: You get a completely unintelligible user interface.

Case in point: European vs. American home appliances

American: uses WORDS to say what happens



European: uses these icons with NO words.




I can personally attest to the confusion of having these icons on appliances when we lived in Europe. A constant source of frustration.

“What’s that ‘P’ with the lines around it mean?” “The BIG ‘P’ or the little ‘P’?” “Is there a difference?” “I don’t know” “Neither do I”

(via Slate)