Best Practice
Icon Selection

Icon Selection

Selecting the right icons for your application is crucial for creating an intuitive and aesthetically pleasing user interface. Icons serve as visual cues that help users navigate your application and understand its features quickly. This guide provides best practices for icon selection to enhance your application's design and usability.

Understand Your Audience

Before choosing icons, it's essential to understand your target audience. Consider the cultural context, age group, and technical proficiency of your users. Icons that are intuitive for one group may not be for another. Tailoring your icon selection to your audience ensures that your application is user-friendly and accessible.

Consistency is Key

Maintain consistency in style, size, and color across all icons within your application. Consistency helps to create a cohesive look and feel, making your application appear more professional and easier to use. Whether you choose outlined, filled, or colored icons, ensure that the same style is applied throughout.

Clarity and Simplicity

Choose icons that are simple and easily recognizable. Complex icons can be confusing and may not convey their intended meaning at a glance. Icons should be straightforward, with a clear connection to their function or the content they represent.

Size and Readability

Ensure that icons are appropriately sized for their context. Icons should be large enough to be easily identifiable without overwhelming the surrounding content. Consider the different devices and screen sizes your application will be used on and adjust icon sizes accordingly.

Test for Comprehension

Test your icons with a segment of your target audience to ensure they are easily understood. What may seem obvious to you might not be to others. Gathering feedback early in the design process can save time and effort by identifying icons that may need to be replaced or modified.

Use Text Labels When Necessary

While icons can significantly reduce text clutter and make your application more visually appealing, some functions may require additional clarification. In cases where an icon's purpose isn't immediately apparent, consider using a text label to eliminate ambiguity.

Accessibility Considerations

Ensure your icons are accessible to all users, including those with visual impairments. Use alt text for icons to provide a text alternative. Additionally, consider color contrasts and the use of symbols that are universally recognized to accommodate users with color vision deficiencies.

Keep Up with Trends

Icon styles can evolve over time. Stay informed about current design trends to keep your application looking modern. However, always prioritize clarity and functionality over aesthetic trends.


Choosing the right icons is a delicate balance between design, functionality, and user experience. By following these best practices, you can select icons that enhance your application's usability and aesthetic appeal. Remember, the goal is to create an intuitive and engaging environment for your users, where icons play a pivotal role in navigation and interaction.