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I am building a wealth management application and by default any screen shows numbers (money, percentage gain/lost) in quite a large font. This is useful in most cases as the important information is highly visible for our users.

We need to cater for those users who might be using our application at work, with their screens exposed to passers-by, and want to have a more discreet mode.

We currently have a button that when pressed:

  • relevant headings/numbers have their font-size decreased
  • any movement indicators (red/yellow backgrounds or font colours) become more muted
  • any charts (line, pie or column) have their colours removed.

And the experience is, we hope, more discreet for those people wanting to track their finances/wealth without peering eyes.

At the moment, I am just using a 'smaller' icon (similar to: http://thenounproject.com/term/smaller/55828/) but as most elements are not being made smaller, this is not an accurate representation.

What icon and/or label should I be using for this "discreet" button? My thinking so far is:

I cannot see any precedent here, but what is the best option?

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Since icon selection is not an appropriate question for StackExchange, I'll focus on the interaction design for quiet-mode (aka discreet mode).

I assume this is not a mode that will be familiar to your users, so your UX goals might be something like:

  • Ensure that the quiet mode icon is visible onscreen.
  • Ensure that it is placed discreetly but easily reachable.
  • Ensure that users have an easy way to figure out what quiet mode is.

Here is an design that incorporates these goals enter image description here


  • Place the icon in a corner of the screen , where it is discreet but easily locatable.
    • I used top-right where it is out of the F-pattern, but you can pick a suitable corner.
  • Show a tooltip on hover which explains:

    • What quiet mode is.
    • How to use a shortcut to invoke it in the future (this is useful for advanced users who don't want to scramble for a mouse when the boss walks by). I used ctrl-q which may not be the best key.
    • How to find out more about quiet mode.
  • I used a glasses icon that attempts to communicate that the button is view-related, but you may have success with other icons too.

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    Brilliant, thanks tohster. My mistake for skirting the line of icon selection. – rlsaj Mar 13 '15 at 3:48

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