I am seeking feedback as to whether the 'reset' icon used below is obvious enough for users, or whether we would be better off using a button with the word 'Reset' on it? This is intended for a smartphone app.

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Please ignore the quality of the screenshot.

EDIT I just wanted to share what we went with for now:

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Thanks everyone for your contribution.

  • 1
    Coincidentally there is a very good article on icon testing by Nielson Norman Group nngroup.com/articles/icon-testing. I believe it will help you to make a more informed choice.
    – adamsoh
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 12:40
  • please elaborate on what a 'reset' button will do. does it reset the current question? completely start the game over from the beginning?
    – Dave Haigh
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 14:23
  • Actually, I should have mentioned that when the user taps on the icon they are informed at that point what the button will do and have the option of cancelling or continuing the operation. But to answer your question, it resets the 'score' and 'total questions asked' count. In future it will also reset the questions (i.e. all questions will go back in the pool to be randomly selected again).
    – Monomeeth
    Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 21:44
  • Restart or Restart Game would be better then IMO
    – Dave Haigh
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 13:04
  • This icon universally can be understood in many ways. Most common is 'Replay" Thanks to Youtube. :) And some might even misunderstand with Refresh. Its the direction of arrow that sets different meaning. Better to use labels.
    – Praasshant
    Commented Feb 13, 2016 at 14:56

2 Answers 2


I would say nothing says "reset" better than "reset". The trouble with icons like this is that they are widely used for many different things so there isn't a "standard" use.

Universally understood icons work well (ie. print, close, play/pause etc), but I would argue this particular icon is not universally understood.

Source: http://uxmyths.com/post/715009009/myth-icons-enhance-usability


Whenever possible use both label and icon

Why ? There are plenty of naive users out there. For them an icon can mean anything. For someone used to application he/she may understand that it is a reset button.

But there is always chance of confusion with naive users. It can be refresh or something else too.

Usually applications should use icon alone when they have a real estate problem. From your layout i assume that you have enough real estate to add a button that says rest. You can also add an icon to the right of the button.

Icons are helpful in case where people of different language are using your application. So whenever possible icons should be an addition or fallback option. Not the primary way of identification.

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