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I need an intuitive icon which represents "more" ITEMS (or "more items like this") (or other "similar" items to this item). I have space constraints on the screen, so I can't exactly use a label.

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closed as off topic by Rahul May 19 '12 at 12:30

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Are you planning to use the icon at end of paragraphs of text, list of items, ... Different uses will require different icons. –  Emil Aug 27 '11 at 22:34
    
hey emil, i've updated the question to better reflect my needs. –  Raunak Aug 27 '11 at 22:45

4 Answers 4

As far as I know, the "icon" that's used a lot for this purpose is a simple ellipsis (...), probably as a contraction of "More..." or "Show more..."

Ex.:

enter image description here

Also popular are all sorts of arrows pointing in the direction where the additional content will be loaded.

Ex.:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Plus signs are also occasionally used.

Overall, it seems to depend largely on context. If the content is loaded below the button, an arrow pointing in that direction may be appropriate.

If the loaded content is "more of the same," an ellipsis may be a logical indicator, but if it's somthing that extends the currently visible information, but is not necessarily similar in nature, a plus may be more appropriate.

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Thanks for your input philip. To provide you with better context, in my app, I show the user an image. They can click an icon ('more'), to view similar images to this. '+' is a good candidate, but I'm not sure if it users will perceive it as 'more', specially if there are no labels. –  Raunak Aug 27 '11 at 22:49
    
@raunak, how about a triangle facing right. Users are familiar with the convention from picture sliders. –  Emil Aug 27 '11 at 22:56
    
I already use that for loading the next image. –  Raunak Aug 27 '11 at 23:00
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I would still suggest the Ellipsis (...), you can style it a little to make it look like a button. I remember reading a research paper on this topic but can't for the life of me recall the paper. IIRC most users simply preferred the word "more" and icons always took a bit of learning. Don't quote me as I can't find the article. –  Ben Brocka Aug 28 '11 at 0:55

You could combine the ellipsis and a right arrow as follows - where the arrow is similarly styled to the ellipsis - same height lines as dot diameter, same curvature, same colour, same spacing.

enter image description here enter image description here

larger version:

enter image description here enter image description here

[edit] After Philip's comment below, I added the downward versions just to compare and contrast...

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1  
This is a neat idea, but I'd go for it only if the content will be displayed in the direction where the arrow is pointing. in other words, it could work fine if the content area expands horizontally, but the metaphor would be lost if the content expands vertically (as the vertically aligned dots would no longer look like an ellipsis) –  Philip Seyfi Aug 28 '11 at 12:06
    
@Philip yep - agreed on that –  Roger Attrill Aug 28 '11 at 12:34
    
They're not just very clear, but also very good looking! –  Inca Aug 28 '11 at 16:41

I would actually use multiple offset versions of whatever you have more of, like this:

enter image description here

So for the example above, if you have a list of pages/documents, I would use something like this as an indicator of "more."

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enter image description here

This is my approach, ellipsis with some background color.

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