What are current best practices regarding the idea of having both a menu item as well as widget--I'm thinking of a button with an icon on it, but it could be any graphical element that you could interact with--point to the same function?
Strictly speaking, it is redundant, since the function can be accessed in two ways. But, e.g., most word processors have traditionally had both the File > Save menu item as well as the little floppy disk icon for the same purpose. The redundancy never bothered me as a user.
But I am trying to make an application that has far fewer features than, say, Word, and so the redundancy might seem a little silly. Specifically, I was going to have a "Settings" menu item as well as a "Settings" button with a gear icon or such (part of the motivation for the button is it provides very good visual balance to the UI based on the layout of the other buttons...probably not a compelling reason to have it, I know)