I am designing a calendar icon for an app, I am putting a random date right now on it, what should be ideal date that I should put. Is there any usability research done on the same? I know the best scenario can be if it can display the current date, but right now it might be too much an overkill to develop such a feature, so what should be the ideal date that i should put on the icon? Blackberry puts it to be 31, another number which I though was quite eye catchy was 23. Is there any such paradigm that a particular date is catchier?

  • 13
    you might be over-thinking this.
    – DA01
    Oct 4, 2012 at 0:38
  • 1
    My favorite icon set uses 31: p.yusukekamiyamane.com/icons/search/fugue/#keyword=calendar Another option is to just make it a generic calendar with no dates, like some of the other icons in there.
    – F21
    Oct 4, 2012 at 0:45
  • What is the app doing? Pretty key information for giving a reasonable answer :)
    – Peter
    Oct 4, 2012 at 12:49
  • 2
    17 is the best.
    – Wander
    Oct 4, 2012 at 14:54
  • 1
    The ideal number is obviously 42 :) Oct 9, 2012 at 7:22

2 Answers 2


Try doing a google search on calendar icon and then you capture the results (if worth it). Just by skimming the results I saw that 9 was a popular number, but not far from others.

From the Semiotics perspective 31 might work, as people easily identify it as the maximum number of days a month can get, and design-wise is filling.

I think that only having the red bar at the top and a big bold black number (or calendar grid (SMTWXFS) id size permits) at the bottom is good enough for people to identify the icon.

MORE ON ICONS: I bumped today into this link: Tips for Designing Great Icons and Images from the iOS Human Interface Guidelines. Worth having a look for people that want to design their own icons.

  • I like the idea of using 31 to help users grok the number's meaning. Oct 4, 2012 at 14:59
  • I'd had assumed that that that would have been the most popular number in the first place...
    – edgarator
    Oct 9, 2012 at 5:58

If it is technically feasible, update the icon on an hourly/daily base to show the current date/day. This way, the user sees the current date/day by just browsing through the set of application icons without starting the calendar application.

Technically, it may require configuring and running a system service to redraw the icon at midnight without user interaction.

  • That would be the preferred route (as per iOS) but as the OP mentions in the question "but right now it might be too much an overkill to develop such a feature"
    – JonW
    Oct 4, 2012 at 14:54

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