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Imagine you work in some 3D application where you can control the camera and view data graphs from different points of view, controlling camera position and direction. Sometimes you might get lost in 3D - you don't know where's start and where's top.

some random 3D view

You need to reset the camera to default viewing point. How would you design a small icon that resets the camera view to default view?

Default view

EDIT: To answer some additional questions. Camera control is done through mouse buttons (LMB - rotate, RMB - pan, Wheel - zoom). Controls for camera are also repeated in UI, but since they are much cumbersome I would not like to show them, in essence they are buttons you press to move left/right/up/down/rotate/zoom by a certain value.

The default value does not only zooms out, but also resets viewing angles to 45/35 degrees and positions the camera precisely at plot middle.

I'm afraid to introduce the camera symbol because it is not used anywhere else in UI, the end-user does not have to know about existence of a Camera. He sees the plot he can move and rotate, so to rephrase the question - I'm more looking for an idea for an icon to reset plot position and rotation. In my question I referred to Camera just for convenience sake (we nerdy people know about cameras and angles, but normal people don't need those extra entities).

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closed as not constructive by JonW Nov 18 '12 at 9:55

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6 Answers 6

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If the reset view will always be same - always this isometric alike box, then you could put this box is an icon. So user will recognize it by remembering former view. Sort of representative icon - you see what you get.

enter image description here

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You say you can "control camera position and direction". How is this done?

Judging from the 2 screenshots I assume that your "reset view" button always zooms out to the maximum. Is this correct? If yes, you could foresee a button "zoom out maximum" or "show all" that is designed in correspondence with the other buttons that allow you to zoom in, change position, change direction etc.

If it truly is a different concept, how about a home button, like in a web browser?

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The default value does not only zooms out, but also resets viewing angles to 45/35 degrees and positions the camera precisely at plot middle. –  Krom Stern Oct 26 '11 at 14:06
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What about a camera with a reset symbol around it? Something like this:

enter image description here

Both seems somewhat universally recognized, so together they should make sense to people.

OR

Applications like Solidworks use "Home" as the default view, with a house icon which is commonly used to refer to home.

OR

A combo of the two - reset and home:

enter image description here

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I'm afraid to introduce the camera symbol because it is not used anywhere else, the end-user does not have to know about existence of a Camera. He sees the plot he can move and rotate. –  Krom Stern Oct 26 '11 at 11:46
    
Autodesk Maya (3d software) uses camera icons extensively when reffering to views and perspective, it's rather common. –  Matt Rockwell Oct 26 '11 at 11:49
    
Indeed, that is rather common for people working with 3D extensively. That can't be said about my software users. Until now there were no mentions of any cameras and I would like to avoid it further. Hence the question :) –  Krom Stern Oct 26 '11 at 11:54
    
As I added to my answer, the default view is what you see in 2nd picture - rotated by 45 and 35 degrees. If it were a 3D box (which it kind of resembles, just with half of the sides removed) it would have been oriented exactly as on 2nd picture. –  Krom Stern Oct 26 '11 at 12:01
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In lack of a better idea, try to imitate what does that icon do. Just put the 3 axis in icon as they will look after the icon is pressed.

You have to keep in mind that its not as diffusing the bomb, user will click and see what happenes. Once they click and see that the exactly same thing happened as its designed on button he will never forget what the button is for. Its also about learning not just being purely intuitive.

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If you're wanting to reset the view then the two visual cues here that i can think of would be the standard 'reset' circular arrow and a magnifying glass. Combining the two together could give you a 'Reset View' icon. Here's my two minute paint job example:

reset view

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I would interpret that as "reset zoom" as in 100%. –  Matt Rockwell Oct 26 '11 at 18:15
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I'd suggest combining Jon W and Matt Rockwell's ideas. A magnifying glass with a "home" icon in it.

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Why the downvote? –  aslum Oct 28 '11 at 15:48
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