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I'm trying to find an argument against adding an extra UI element in one of our form.

We have a URL link and a small "(i)" icon next to it.

Both the URL and the icon can have tooltips.

Something like : (the mockup does not work) ("link to microsoft" is the text to the external website)

link to microsoft (i)

I feel that adding an (i) icon is superfluous.

Any better way to do it or arguments against it ?

3 Answers 3

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I've no logical argument against the use of icons unless they take up space or increase cognitive load.

However, unless you're linking to a tooltip that provides help or information on the topic, the use of the (i) symbol is wrong (and here we're dealing with cognitive load). If it's just a link to an external website, you should use a link that is more or less recognized as "open external website", like the ones on the image below:

enter image description here

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  • Thanks, maybe in that context those icons or something similar might better represent the intent. I'll pass the idea to the designer.
    – Max
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 21:26
  • Thanks, I've talked to the designer, we'll keep what we have now, I will this answer at the back of my mind for future references
    – Max
    Commented Feb 8, 2023 at 19:34
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Instead of the "i" in the brackets, literally spell out what you're trying to do.

So intead of

link to microsoft (i)

do

link to microsoft (Opens in new window)

The point of good UX is to be clear without adding anything more than necessary.

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Agree with Devin. You need to use another icon - "open external website" or use a custom one.

Here is an example form Material Design 3.0 - https://fonts.google.com/icons?selected=Material%20Icons%20Outlined%3Aopen_in_new%3A

Also, you can remove the link text and stay only the icon. Showing tons of characters is not the best user experience.

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