I'm designing a web application. In several pages there are many secondary buttons that allow users to perform actions.

For example, inside an "Order" page you can:

  • Create notification
  • Create invoice
  • Download assets
  • Accept
  • Report an arror

I believe that placing icons inside the buttons (before the text) help users scan and identify actions faster.

My client says that he doesn't want to use icons because:

  • There are many different actions on the web and it will be difficult to find icons for all of them (she is worried about possible inconsistencies)
  • They cause visual noise

What do u think I should do? Thanks

1 Answer 1


It depends. Without knowing more details and without testing, your client is right by default. You don't need icons for buttons, but you do need labels.

However, as you say, it's true that icons can convey a better understanding of what the button is for. Moreover, if you have five buttons that are identical except for the labels, icons will help with visual scanning, decreasing cognitive load.

Anyway, there's not a "one-size-fits-all" answer for this subject, and it will depend on user testing.

Just in case, you can read about some best practices on using icons in general, and using icons inside buttons

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