I have had a quick look on this site but haven't found anything to help me (unless my search terms were poor). Anyway I came across a post a while back saying that for the cursor on zoom, a magnifying glass with the plus sign inside is the best way to go. However from what I've seen in the past and what I personally find to be the most visually appealing, is with the plus sign to the right of the glass. I was just wondering what your thoughts on this are? Which is better? Or is there an alternative way I'm missing that just dwarfs the first two examples?
Think about what your users need
The magnifying glass is a very well understood idiom for zoom, so it's probably the right cursor to use.
The use of
inset (plus on the inside) vs
offset (plus to the right) will depend on the size and use of the cursor. For example:
For large cursors the
insetcursor is visually simpler than the
offsetcursor, so option B below is better than A. For small cursors, the plus sign is hard to discern for the
insetversion, so the
offsetcursor is typically used in this situation (i.e. C is better than D):
insetcursor provides better affordance of precision for users because it's reasonably clear that the focus of the icon is inside the magnifying glass. For the
offseticon, it's unclear where the 'tip' of the icon is. So for detailed work, the
inseticon is more suitable:
...so by focusing on user needs rather than what is most visually pleasing, you're more likely to arrive at a more usable choice for your app.