We have a 3D model viewer application. The user can scale, rotate and translate the model.
We want to add a toolbar button that allows the user to bring the model back to the original position, scale and rotation. This will reset only these parameters. Colors, drawing style etc will stay the same, so this not a "rest all" functionality. Our problem is that we do not know how to visualize this functionality in the toolbar icon (by the way, this an 16x16 icon).
We thought about an icon similar to refresh icon in the browser, but it is too similar to the rotate icon we already have. The best idea we had was a "trash bin" icon, but it still does not describe the functionality accurately.

5 Answers 5


I've been noticing lately the increasing use of the "reload" icon to indicate "restart" or "go back to beginning", e.g.:

alt text

I have to admit that I like it. It is clear, and has the side benefit of being easy to represent in as a 16x16 icon. However, there seems to be no consensus on whether to use clockwise or counterclockwise arrow. The popular Angry Birds app does it in the other direction:

alt text

  • 6
    Counter-clockwise usually represents undo, as in turning back time. Clockwise is redo or reload. Commented Nov 19, 2010 at 5:44

In the past, I have seen an icon similar to this function. It was a wireframe globe (just showed a few lines of latitude and longitude) with the X and Y axis sticking out the top and right sides. It stands for something like 'return to global view presets'.

Super-crude sketch shown below:

alt text


You should think about a couple of different options because I don't think it's all that intuitive or necessarily useful (even if I don't know the purpose of the app).

Rather than think of it as a reset, allow the user to select different preset positions in addition to selecting the original position (the button would open a dialog). You then add more utility and a better reason why this icon would be in the main navigation.

Or in the application menu add features such as undo translation, transform, materials, etc.


Maybe a pencil erasing a sheet of paper?

An icon indicating something has changed or been edited?


I would put a compass card meaning "Back to the origin":

Compass card

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