Icons play a big part in driving a richer experience on the tablet but can also be a frustrating one also. So when considering icons in your design/publication consider good metaphors, test them with people around you and ask them what they think it might mean in the context of the page and surrounding elements and what they think will happen if they tap it, consider the context also to where the icon will sit and will it be understood.
Is an icon the right tool? Can this be done with a visual indicator instead?
For instance a cardflip may have a corner turned over to show indicate something on the other side therefore indicating a tap will initiate interaction. It’s these visual cues that help drive that richer experience for the reader.
If using an icon and in doubt as to what icon should be used take Apples lead and design the same or something similar. If it’s used by Apple then people already understand it’s meaning in context of previous apps they may have used.
Don’t over use icons and interface elements either. A reader sees so many icons that it’s sometimes hard to remember what there meaning or call to action is from app to app. Remember, its about the content, it’s what a user loves so much about the touch interface.
For instance don’t use an arrow to indicate there is a next photo but rather use the space more appropriately and show/invite the user to interact with the content in other ways. It's really adding those delights to your publication that people will love and talk about to their friends. Gestures are a big part of the touch user interface and where we can we should use, after all that’s the beauty of the tablet device.
Be consistent. A common trap is some icons require the icon to be tapped while other indicate that somewhere else on the page needs to be tapped - users find this frustrating.
DON'T use arrows for buttons as they imply swiping. The only exception is the video play button.
DO allow icons the visual space around them to breath and be understood. The icon shouldn’t be required to work against the layout of the publication but work with it. This way the user it drawn to the icon naturally rather than them needing to go searching for it. This allows for a more fluid interaction with your app.
Oomph have designed a key set of icons for you to use and these are available to you in your Template Starter Pack. If you have any trouble accessing these please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You are free to change the colour to fit with your publication but we do not recommend you make the icons any smaller than we have supplied.
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