Icons are everywhere, both in the physical world and online. Integrating them into your website can be a fun, stylish, and easy way to foster engagement among your users.
Here are 3 Benefits of Using Icons on Your Website
1. Communicate Information
Incorporating icons into your web design can make content more easily understandable and memorable. Using icons on your website reinforces text, giving readers a preview of what is to come before they read it, and act as an easy reminder afterward.
2. Show Personality
When using icons on your website, the style of icon you choose can say a lot about your brand. Are your icons modern and professional? Colorful and fun? The styles of icons are endless; there’s sure to be a set of icons that matches how you want your brand represented.
3. Keep Things Interesting
Icons are a great way to break up a large amount of text. If a user comes to a web page and sees a wall of text, they aren’t likely to put in the effort to read through it all. Using icons on your website strategically on pages can break up the mass of text and make it more readable.
Something to Keep in Mind
Be careful of what you assume about your user. What you think an icon means may be different from what your user thinks it means. For example, let’s take the hamburger icon ☰ : although it may be instantly recognizable to designers, developers, and other tech-savvy people as representing a menu, several studies have shown that it is not universally understood. A study by James Foster found that combining the hamburger icon with the word “menu” increased the number of clicks by 7%. Placing a border around the icon, so that its appearance resembles a traditional button, increased clicks by 22%. This study shows that the hamburger button is not universally understood, and applies to other icons as well. Therefore, when using icons on your website, it is best to accompany them with text, unless you are certain that it will be universally understood. An example of icons that may be universally understood are house icons to represent the home page or magnifying glass icons to represent search. Otherwise, you may be confusing some of your users.
If done properly, using icons on your website can help communicate information, give your website personality, and keep your readers interested in your content. Have you seen icons used in an interesting or creative way on a website recently? Let us know in the comments!