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I am designing a calendar icon for an app, I am putting a random date right now on it, what should be ideal date that I should put. Is there any usability research done on the same? I know the best scenario can be if it can display the current date, but right now it might be too much an overkill to develop such a feature, so what should be the ideal date that i should put on the icon? Blackberry puts it to be 31, another number which I though was quite eye catchy was 23. Is there any such paradigm that a particular date is catchier?

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you might be over-thinking this. – DA01 Oct 4 '12 at 0:38
My favorite icon set uses 31: Another option is to just make it a generic calendar with no dates, like some of the other icons in there. – F21 Oct 4 '12 at 0:45
What is the app doing? Pretty key information for giving a reasonable answer :) – Peter Oct 4 '12 at 12:49
17 is the best. – Wander Oct 4 '12 at 14:54
The ideal number is obviously 42 :) – Vitaly Mijiritsky Oct 9 '12 at 7:22
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Try doing a google search on calendar icon and then you capture the results (if worth it). Just by skimming the results I saw that 9 was a popular number, but not far from others.

From the Semiotics perspective 31 might work, as people easily identify it as the maximum number of days a month can get, and design-wise is filling.

I think that only having the red bar at the top and a big bold black number (or calendar grid (SMTWXFS) id size permits) at the bottom is good enough for people to identify the icon.

MORE ON ICONS: I bumped today into this link: Tips for Designing Great Icons and Images from the iOS Human Interface Guidelines. Worth having a look for people that want to design their own icons.

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I like the idea of using 31 to help users grok the number's meaning. – Jimmy Breck-McKye Oct 4 '12 at 14:59
I'd had assumed that that that would have been the most popular number in the first place... – edgarator Oct 9 '12 at 5:58

If it is technically feasible, update the icon on an hourly/daily base to show the current date/day. This way, the user sees the current date/day by just browsing through the set of application icons without starting the calendar application.

Technically, it may require configuring and running a system service to redraw the icon at midnight without user interaction.

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That would be the preferred route (as per iOS) but as the OP mentions in the question "but right now it might be too much an overkill to develop such a feature" – JonW Oct 4 '12 at 14:54

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