Icons in web design are getting more and more popular each year. We usually think of them as of small vector signs used to illustrate information on our websites. But the truth is that icons are so much more than that. If you think of your everyday life you’ll notice that icons literally surround you. Those can be road signs, eco-friendly marks on product packages, your computer keyboard and pretty much everything you use. And we absolutely love them for letting us understand information better. This article is going to teach you how to choose and use them better as well as where to find free awesome icons for your online projects.
First of all, let’s talk about design a bit. What do you think it’s all about? Beautiful graphics? Nice color combinations? Easy and more comfortable ways to perceive information? Yes, but not really. The main goal of design is successful communication. And, unfortunately, very often for it to be successful it’s not enough to just write interesting texts (otherwise we wouldn’t need design at all). Just think of your first actions when you open unfamiliar webpage. Instead of jumping into reading you first scan the whole page for visually interesting content. If something grabs your attention — you stay and explore the whole thing. If it doesn’t — you don’t feel like wasting your time and close the window.
Beautiful and elegant icons are a great solution to capture user’s attention. But being a happy owner of one cool icon set is not enough. If everything was so simple then 80% of the web would be drop dead successful. Hopefully, the following tips will help you master this “Killer icon usage” skill.
As has already been said, the main goal of using icons is to help users absorb and process information more efficiently. As well as save their time and get rid of tons of unnecessary text because it sums up what your information is about. For it to be possible it’s important to make icons stand out. That’s the main reason why many successful websites leave a lot of white space around them and stick to minimalism.
When you choose the style of your icon set, keep in mind what your information is about. You don’t want your icons to distract user from the content but rather augment it. Besides, think of your target audience. Kids prefer big colorful and detailed icons, businessmen — simple and formal ones. And if you need something original — you can go crazy and use your entire imagination!
As for size — it doesn’t really matter. Small icons attract just as much attention as large ones, but without the potential to be distracting.
You can use icons instead of boring bullets in your lists, to structure content better and separate different functions or services, to make titles and headers look visually more attractive and interesting… The amount of options is limitless. But, of course, to make it all possible we, first of all, need to have these icon sets downloaded. There are many places where you can find them but here’re the best of the best: