[Tango-artists] Facing direction of icons

Jakub Steiner jimmac at ximian.com
Mon Jul 17 03:35:24 PDT 2006

On Fri, 2006-07-14 at 18:49 -0700, Eugenia Loli-Queru wrote:
> Could someone add guidelines regarding the "facing to" of the icons here?
> http://tango.freedesktop.org/Tango_Icon_Theme_Guidelines
> Please note that I am _not_ talking about perspective here, I am talking 
> about where the icons should be facing to. For example, these two icons are 
> not facing in the same direction and I personally don't like that:
> http://tango.freedesktop.org/static/cvs/tango-icon-theme/32x32/status/audio-volume-high.png
> http://tango.freedesktop.org/static/cvs/tango-icon-theme/32x32/devices/audio-input-microphone.png
> Here is a "live" example of how weird an application can look when its icons 
> are not facing at the same direction: 
> http://jokosher.org/wp-content/uploads/2006/05/jokosher-recordingview.png
> (I am talking about the line-in and mic/guitar icons)
> Back in the day BeOS looked uniformed because of its icons had the same 
> perspective, but also they were facing at the same direction: 
> http://www.smspower.org/maxim/16bit/custom/icons/beos.gif
> I would love to see the same rule to apply to the Tango icons (just pick 
> left or right, I personally prefer left :-). I believe that will make one's 
> desktop look more uniform as the brain will recognize them faster because 
> the brain will be trained to scan icons in a certain way. If for example you 
> have 90 icons facing at the same direction, and 10 on the other, EVEN if 
> these 10 icons might be more good-looking than the 90 ones, the user will be 
> left with a weird feeling at the end. Simply because his brain would have to 
> use  that extra 3 calories of energy to scan them. ;-)


My personal take is that it's more important an icon is clear and
distinguishable than it is for all to face the same direction. 
In the case of jokosher you mention, having both the microphone and the
line-in icon face the same direction will make their silhouette
virtually identical and thus harder to tell apart.

It may have been worth to have if we used the isometric (like BeOS) or
two point perspective, but in our case, I'd rather not specify this in
the spec. 


Jakub Steiner <jimmac at ximian.com>

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