Re: Icons vs Buttons

Subject: Re: Icons vs Buttons
From: Chuck Blessing <chuck -dot- blessing -at- CBIS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 17:18:36 -0500

On July 18, Joy Switzer said:
>> the new documentation for a piece of software
my co has developed we are confused on the use of the words "icons" and
"buttons". We feel that an icon is a graphical representation of the action
that will take place when you click it. A button has text on it to describe
what it will do. Are we right in our assumption...what standard have some of
you used in your
experiences? <<

In the application that I am currently documenting, we have icons on the main
menu bar. Each of these icons is a graphical representation of a subsystem.
When the user clicks on the icon, a sub-menu is displayed from which the user
can select a screen or window. This is the only place in the system that we
have something called icons.

We also have buttons, which are on our GUI windows. These buttons either
perform some action or display a sub-menu from which an action can be selected.
These buttons have only text on them.

In summary, we use icons as a graphical representation of a subsystem, and we
use textual buttons for all functions and sub-menus. I don't think that there
are any rules as to what icons or buttons are used for; it just depends on
whatever standards you decide upon.

Chuck Blessing - chuck -dot- blessing -at- cbis -dot- com OR cjb -at- one -dot- net
Cincinnati Bell Information Systems, Inc. (CBIS) - Cincinnati, Ohio

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