Icons have always been useful, wether it's common(most used ones) or totally new to user. If it's most used ones like: Home, Copy, Paste, etc., it would definitely increase the readablity.
Also if it's completely new(customized icons) to user, it will create a graphical image when user comes again after visiting just once or twice, and will assocciate respctive functionality to that new icon.
Icons can help in several ways to support your content presentation:
Icons can put content in a nutshell
- With icons you can quickly sum up what your text is about. Sometimes, icons can even be enough to communicate content, which makes reading additional text unnecessary.
Icons can draw attention
- Icons can draw attention, but at the same time they can help you structure content and separate different functions or services.
Icons can increase readability
- Icons are easier to both recognize and to remember, as it communicates with human brain with graphical image / photographics memory created in users brain.
How To Use Icons To Support Content In Web Design
How and Why Icons Improve Your Web Design
Importance of Icons in Website Designing
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Conclusion: User's get motivated by message conveyed by the icons, more than reading or scaning each and every text again and again.