Does Your Navigation Suffer From UIC (Unnecessary Icon Labels)?

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Recently, SmashingMagazine.com published an article by Suzanne Scacca that examines web trends that may be time to retire. While several aren’t applicable to most nonprofit arts orgs, there is one you should consider: unnecessary icon labels.

Inside the design world, navigation icons are a great way to make clients feel like they are getting something super personal but in reality, it’s just billable filler that is easy to produce. Scacca uses a Geico app design for some of her examples.

The icons aren’t all that easy to decipher (except the tow truck) and I’m just not sure they add any value here. Really, if you can’t think of anything better than putting a letter “C” on a clipboard to represent claims, maybe icons aren’t needed after all?

It’s that last one that really stuck the landing. I can think of a dozen examples across performing arts websites that fall victim to the same approach, such as an orchestra site that has a custom icon of a treble clef set into a calendar icon for their event calendar navigation menu item.

Scacca goes on to include some examples where custom icons are useful and she also points out areas where no icons alongside nav items with icons work best.

Read The Article At Smashing Magazine

About Drew McManus

In addition to my consulting business, I'm also the Principal of Venture Industries Online but don’t let that title fool you into thinking I'm just a tech geek. I bring 20+ years of global broad-based arts consulting experience to the table to help clients break the cycle of choosing one-size-fits-none solutions and instead, deliver options allowing them to get ahead of the tech curve instead of trying to catch up by going slower.

With the vision of legacy support strategy and the delights of creative insights, my mission is to deliver a sophisticated next generation technology designed especially for the field of performing arts. The first step in that journey began in 2010 when The Venture Platform was released, a purpose-designed managed website development solution designed especially for arts organizations and artists.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, lead a team of intrepid arts pros to hack the arts, lead an arts business incubator, and love a good coffee drink.

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