The Material icons are Google-designed, apparently with a view toward what's standard or meant to become standard, recommended by Google for use in Android apps.

In order to use them in a way that is consistent across apps and therefore intuitive for the user, I would think we would need some indication of the intended purpose or meaning of each icon. Is there a "glossary" where we can learn the intended meaning?

In particular, I'm wondering about this view_module icon:

Material view_module icon

I have an idea of what I'd like to use it for, but I don't want to use it in a way that conflicts with some standard meaning of the icon. We had been using the "vertical 3 dots" icon, until we realized that people would think it was a menu and started tapping on it only to be frustrated.

Any idea what the view_module icon is supposed to be used for?

  • 1
    "I have an idea of what I'd like to use it for" - what command are you looking for an icon for?
    – John
    Jan 10, 2017 at 19:53
  • @John: Not for a command, but as a symbol for what we call a "module" - a group of lessons. Modules are subordinate to "playlists" in the app.
    – LarsH
    Jan 10, 2017 at 19:55
  • Ah, in that case, what is the icon you're using for each individual lesson? It looks to me though that this particular icon is used in Android for arranging a list of items. Similar to how in Windows Explorer you can view items as a list, details, icons, thumbnails, etc.
    – John
    Jan 10, 2017 at 21:49
  • @John We don't have an icon for an individual lesson.
    – LarsH
    Jan 10, 2017 at 21:56

1 Answer 1


The view module icon is used to change the way contents are displayed on the particular Material Design oriented page. The view module icon displays the contents in a grid fashion, whereas its counterpart, the view list icon, for example on the Google Drive app (in the screenshot), displays content in the form of a list.

View List mode on Google Drive

Above is a screenshot of the view list view mode on the Google Drive. The icon circled in red on the top right is the view module icon which would switch the folder arrangement to a grid orientation as presented below, with the option to switch back to the view list mode.

View Module mode on Google Drive

Other than the above two, Material Design offers icons for other view modes as well depending upon their respective application. For example, view agenda, view day and view week for calendar oriented applications. You could visit Material IO Icons page and search for the them view and you would be able to find all the associated icons there.

  • Thank you for this thorough, illustrated answer. That makes sense. I would have expected an icon for this function to be labeled view_grid rather than view_module, but clearly you're right.
    – LarsH
    Jan 11, 2017 at 15:16
  • @LarsH You're most welcome. And yes, I do agree view module is way too vague for what it does.
    – ikartik90
    Jan 11, 2017 at 19:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.