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I'm looking for an icon that will live in an iPhone's footer menu bar that resembled 'sign-in'.

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closed as off topic by JonW Aug 14 '12 at 11:01

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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Making a tab bar icon for Sign-in is not just unadvisable or confusing, but flat-out wrong. From the iOS Human Interface Guidelines:

Use a tab bar to give users access to different perspectives on the same set of data or different subtasks related to the overall function of your app.

In general, use a tab bar to organize information at the application level. A tab bar is well-suited for use in the main app view because it’s a good way to flatten your information hierarchy and provide access to several peer information categories or modes at one time.

Signing in is not a perspective on a set of data, but rather a modal action required before certain functionality becomes available. It therefore does not belong in any tab bar.

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I'd probably use something like this: enter image description here

Yes, it's not an icon, but it is clear to everyone what it does. I haven't seen any standard icon that most people would understand as sign in. So you could find something that looks good and that some (maybe) people understand, but would you improve the overall experience for most people? I doubt it.

Just use a button with clear text. If you have to use an icon, use almost anything you like as long as you label it. Still not as clear as a button though.

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I fully agree. "Sign in" is a bit too abstract to express in a simple iconographic metaphor, and I've never seen a major site use a particularly successful icon for it. A key or lock is occasionally used but that's not the clearest. –  Ben Brocka Sep 22 '11 at 18:09
    
The menu bar of an iPhone app does not use buttons. Would like to put the icon there accompanied with the words 'Sign-in'. –  bart Sep 22 '11 at 18:22
    
@bart: The footer menu is not used for links like Sign-in. It goes against standard use as well as the Apple HCI guidelines. Icons in the footer menu bar aren't for performing direct actions. Think navigation. –  JohnGB Sep 29 '11 at 17:12
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There is no standard sign-in icon, since the majority of apps which require a sign-in do it before the user gets access to the app.

If you're intent on having an icon maybe a padlock, or a key? But a button with sign-in would be much clearer.

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I use an arrow to the right. Could be a key or a keyhole. Or a Power button.

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I think you may need to reconsider having the sign in in the bottom tab bar (it is a tab bar I'm assuming). It's not common practice to have sign in/out there, as it'll not be used very often. I'd recommend keeping the tab bar items reserved for frequently accessed screens.

As a solution you could either move the sign in button to a settings tab (if you have one) or simply in the form of a button in the top bar on the right or left hand side.

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