The Impossible Icon: Giving Designers Nightmares Since The Dawn Of Time

I got to hang out with some of my favorite designers tonight! One of them is working on a project for a niche company that requires them to use solely material icons. The entire project is complete other than one pesky icon.

All 6 of us took a look at it together and not one of us was able to come up with an icon selection that fit. It’s one of those impossible icons that consumes your thoughts. Because there HAS to be an icon that makes sense, right? Wrong.

It’s 3am, and I STILL can’t stop thinking about it haha—it’s driving me crazy. C’est la vie! #DesignLife


4 thoughts on “The Impossible Icon: Giving Designers Nightmares Since The Dawn Of Time

  1. That’s a fair post Jennifer and I’m sorry I only just saw this. Did you ever find your 6th perfect icon? I believe that sometimes you need to take a giant step back from the area of focus and look for other associations that could take you to a meaningful icon. Think of it like a prism, where the specific thing you are focused on is the white light that goes into the prism and the rainbow that comes out of the prism are all the various associations or elements of that thing. I think a couple of good structured brainstorming techniques, could probably get you closer with a bit of fun and less pain the next time you face this crisis. My company, is thinks along these same lines, as we use these same approaches to disambiguate the overall UX for a given product in order to diagnostically assess its performance and guide refinement. If I can ever be helpful as a sounding board, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Best, Jeremy

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