I'm designing a button which when clicked aborts a certain process. I need an Icon on the button with the text "Abort". The icon will be place on the left and text will be placed right to the icon. But I'm confused which icon to use.
I've listed a few icons below that you may agree are close to symbolizing an "Abort" action.
Cross Cancel Hand Minus

  • I also think that a red "Cancel" button is more clear here.
    – mridgley1
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 2:12

2 Answers 2


I'm going to reply before the question is closed (for some strange reason, questions about icons are against the rules here) because I find your question really interesting.

I think the reason for your doubt is that you are using a loaded word. And the cognitive load behind that word is mostly negative. So you will have a hard time finding a good representation for a loaded concept, because loaded words trigger emotional reactions rather than logical responses

Try using more concise and direct language, such as "cancel" or "stop," and you'll find plenty of symbols that are easy to recognize.

Also, make sure you use an informative label despite your choice of symbol

  • There seems to be a sharp difference between "Cancel" and "abort". See stackoverflow.com/questions/9837926/…
    – Somanna
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 18:06
  • How is abort a loaded word? Did you mean "abort" might cause the user to recall the abortion of a fetus and thus trigger an emotional response in the user? That way abort is a loaded word?
    – Somanna
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 18:12
  • 1
    I see. However, as a UX practitioner, I don't agree with this approach at all. Nor do I agree with taking a single case from a single unknown firm as a general rule. However, if you think this option is the best, go for it, I can only answer from the perspective of UX. And in UX, user psychology is one of the most important things to consider, hence my response. EDIT: and yes, that's what I mean
    – Devin
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 18:14
  • can you please elaborate on how user psychology is effected by reading button texts such as "abort" and "cancel". May be you can include it in your answer? Or may be pointing to a source might be helpful.
    – Somanna
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 18:17
  • I already included a link in my answer
    – Devin
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 18:20

I'd consider stealing an idea from the roads: a red octagonal sign:


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