Home / UI design tip: icons are not enough

Jensent Harris gives us an UI design tip: icons are not enough. Applications should label all the icons with text.

This tip is more than just a random opinion: it comes from Microsoft’s Office Group studies that taught them that people were not clicking on icons in Office UI until they also labeled them.

This is one example of what Microsoft does well. I’m sure that they’re not alone in gathering detailed statistics about the usage of their software so that they can make inform decisions about ways to improve the software in the future but I would think it’s very rare in software industry. I’ve never heard about another software project gathering such detailed statistics. If Open Office wants to battle Microsoft, they should copy good processes that lead to designing and writing good software and not just the end result of those processes.