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GUI Pitfall: Changing the Application Icon

Summary

Changing the application icon decreases usability of your product. This icon is shown when switching between applications from the keyboard. Users are accustomed to finding your application by sight. If the icon changes, they'll have trouble finding it.

Details

One such application that changes its icon is Evolution. When changing between mail and calendar folders, the application icon changes between a letter and a day planner. While an interesting trick, it causes problems when switching between applications. If the user wants to look at email but left Evolution showing the calendar, the familiar mail icon is missing from the list.

So to avoid user confusion, be certain to keep the application icon consistent throughout the execution of the application.


Last modified on 26 Jul 2006 by AO

Copyright © 2016 Andrew Oliver