Icons in BLAF Applications

Last Updated 19-Jun-2004

General Description

Icons are used as additional visual information to help quantify text or a functional area on the screen. They are used throughout Web applications in a variety of common places, such as within global buttons, in tables, and in legends.

There are multiple types of icons; the type of icon is determined by its function. NOTE: For complete list of common icons, see Icon Repository.

Guideline Attributes

Spec Version # - 3.1
Spec Contributors - Betsy Nute, Aylin Uysal, Quita Stiteler
UI Models - all models
Example Products - all products
Related Guidelines - Buttons (global), Ancillary Graphic Style, Content Containers in Page, Header Component, Key/Legend Notation, Inline Messaging and Tips, Tables, Message Box, Internationalization

Interaction and Usage Specifications

General Principles

Icons are used as visual metaphors to represent an area of content, textual information or function area within an application. They are used in conjunction with other elements on the screen to aid in recognition of the image. For instance, a global button has an icon inside of the button, but also has a text link to label the button.

Different Types of Icons

Below outlines each valid type of icon used in BLAF, its definition, function, valid states, examples, and visual examples for rendering each type.

Visual Specifications

Graphical Rendering of Icon Style

Stylistically, icon graphics should be less rendered than typical client-side application graphics, with a more stylized, simplistic look. This look helps the icons to be less competitive with the UI and task at hand, yet gives a sophisticated graphical style. Icons have a pictogram quality, typical to signs that one might see in an international airport.

Base Graphics for Icon Development

To ensure consistency in art direction style and icon metaphor, base graphics for common metaphors have been created. See the Icon Repository for details.

Other Resources

Open/Closed Issues