Digital Marketing

What Does This Icon Mean? The Answer

On Monday I showed you an single icon from NPR One’s website, and I asked you ponder what you might expect to happen if you clicked on that icon, then to post the name you would give the icon in the comments.
It’s friday. So, I’ll make good on my promise to reveal the true meaning of the icon in question.

The Experience

The icon in questionUpon switching from the app environment for NPR One to the desktop environment you’ll notice a new icon appear. Within the context of a playlist this icon — shown to the left — puzzled me.
I assumed that it was a “Move Up” or “Send to Top”/”Play Next” button that would escalate the associated article up one position in the playlist or all the way to the top of the list. Both my coworker and my husband assumed this icon was an “Upload” icon.
Picture the confused expression on my face when I clicked on the icon, and an additional 3 icons popped up to replace it.
Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 1.31.21 PM

Changes to…

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 1.31.28 PM

Moment of Truth

It’s a “Share” icon! 

How Did You Do?

Did you guess correctly? Tell me in the comments.

Why Different Mobile Iconography?

I looked back at the mobile environment and realized that NPR One uses the more commonshare icon (share icon) as you can see here:
three spoke share icon in NPR One mobile environment
 
Best practice with any experience is to keep consistent. A user might not be aware that they’ve seen two different icons perform the same task, but they’ll surely feel confused when an icon doesn’t do what they expect. Consistency promotes learnability.

Redemption

This isn’t a story of what a company did completely wrong. NPR One’s interface successfully introduced me to the completely new concept of an “Interesting icon which is consistently used across the NPR mobile and web environments. You may have noticed it in the previous blog wondering why I wasn’t calling it out for being ambiguous.
interesting icon
While this icon might not make sense out of context, it completely makes sense within NPR One’s context if you understand the purpose and function of the NPR One’s offering.

Key Takeaway

If there’s a standard icon available, take advantage of that. The faster your users can learn how to function in the environment you’ve built, the more successful you both will be.


Alisha Truemper
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.

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Alisha Truemper

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.

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