Branding

What Does This Icon Mean?

In his blog What Happens When You Push the Broccoli Button? Brian Flanagan brought up a great point about iconography.  A few hours later after reading it, I misinterpreted the meaning of an icon on a website. I showed the icon to Claire, a co-worker, who guessed something completely different would happen upon clicking the icon than I did, yet we were both wrong. Inspired by this coincidence, I’d like to know what you think the icon means.

What does it do?

Icon from NPR One
In the comments, tell me what you think this icon means. What would you name this icon?
 

Context Clue

Perficient: Digital Strategy Experts
The Future is Digital

Becoming digital is the surest way for you to understand your customers' needs and meet their expectations. Learn how Perficient can help anticipate what's ahead for you and your customer with a digital strategy centered around empathy, alignment, and agility.

Watch Now: Digital Strategy Experts

Context is very important to correctly interpreting iconography. An interface can introduce users to new icons in such a way that the experience informs as to how each icon might function, but in some instances context fails to provide the clarity needed to correctly interpret new iconography.
You may already have an initial assumption as to what you think the icon might mean from observing it on its own. Here is a screen capture of it within the setting of a playlist. What would you expect to happen if you clicked on the icon here?

Did seeing it in context change your initial assumption?

Game Rules:

  • Feel free to guess multiple times.
  • Don’t peek at the real answer.

If you recognize this the interface. Shhhhhh… don’t spoil the fun.


I’m interested to see what you all come up with, and if there is a trend in some of the ideas.


What’s Next?

Post your guesses in the comments section below, and then check out What Happens When You Push the Broccoli Button? by Brian Flanagan


Alisha Truemper (4)
What Does This Icon Mean? The Answer

I joined the Perficient XD team in July 2014. With a background in Search Engine Optimization, and an appreciation for User Experience, I've grown into a Content Strategist.


 

About the Author

I joined the Perficient XD team in July 2014. With a background in Search Engine Optimization, and an appreciation for User Experience, I've grown into a Content Strategist.

More from this Author

Thoughts on “What Does This Icon Mean?”

  1. My guess is “download”, but I’d say it’s a poor design if it is download.

  2. I would say upload looking at the icon. Can’t figure out the meaning in the playlist though.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to the Weekly Blog Digest:

Sign Up