“Apple takes to opposite approach [to Microsoft]. They recognise that people can legitimately use computers without understanding or caring how they work…This in a nutshell, is the essence of the computer icon. It is a visual simplification of a complex process” (p.7)
GUI conceals “from the user all but the most essential information”
“despite the fact that this visual language is less than two decades old, it has evolved a rich and complex vocabulary”
“Within these tiny confines the icon designer has to define the type of object to which it refers, portray the use to which the application can be put, and make the image distinctive and different to the icons of competing applications”
Icons and symbols “…transcends the boundaries of language and culture” (p.8).
The icons should be simple to avoid confusion but not over simplified as they can become confusing due to their ambiguity.
Metaphors, allegory and visual puns are used to get message across.
History shows that long before the written word, people communicated through images and symbols i.e. cave paintings hieroglyphics.
Caplin, S. (2001). Icon design: graphic icons in computer interface design. Lewes: The Ivy Press Limited.