Like on for example a header, would having only icons be confusing for the user, or would having words and icons take up too much space? I think that the icon only design is really clean, but don't know if the users would know what the icons mean.

Here is an example of what I am talking about Example

  • Are you able to use tooltips or something similar, so that the icons are shown but the words are available on request?
    – BenM
    May 8, 2014 at 4:11
  • Yeah, I could use a title attribute.
    – tinfoilboy
    May 8, 2014 at 4:12
  • (But do keep in mind that mobile device users won't necessarily have a mouse).
    – BenM
    May 8, 2014 at 4:16
  • @BenM, I've added an example of the header, do you think people would be able to understand what it is trying to say? (the W on the left is the logo, due to the site being codenamed "Written")
    – tinfoilboy
    May 8, 2014 at 4:20
  • To be perfectly honest, no, it's not really clear what those icons mean (maybe they'd be clearer in the context of the website, but they're not clear here). This might not even matter too much if they are purely for site navigation, since users could find out what they mean by experimentation. But if one of them's a logout link, for example, I could easily see that leading to frustration.
    – BenM
    May 8, 2014 at 4:38

2 Answers 2


For the navigation items and menu using icons is really nice and clear , but most of the users did not get the exact ideas in the icons, because most of countries and regions used different ways to communicating the ideas, so if you can used icons and fonts both way user can get clear idea.

check this website - ( http://icomoon.io/ ) try to used Typography it's really easy

and bootstrap Glyphicons ( http://getbootstrap.com/components/ )


Many researchers have shown that icons are hard to memorize and are often highly inefficient. The Microsoft Outlook toolbar is a good example: the former icon-only toolbar had poor usability and changing the icons and their positioning didn’t help much.

From the blog UXMYTHS: http://uxmyths.com/post/715009009/myth-icons-enhance-usability

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