Last summer software designer Aubrey Johnson published a post on Medium with a specific critique of Apple’s brand new mobile operating system, iOS7. Johnson suggested that Apple’s new “hollow” icons, being more visually complex than “solid” icons, create cognitive fatigue for users that will eventually lead them to tire of the interface and stop using it. The timely, bite-sized post was shared and discussed widely, with some designers affirming it as sensible advice and others criticizing it as overblown, oversimplified, and lacking valid evidence. An example of solid and hollow icons in the tab bar of an app in Apple’s iOS7. The selected icon, Top Charts, uses a filled-in “solid” style. The unselected icons use an outlined “hollow” style. As …

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Are Hollow Icons Really Harder to Recognize Than Solid Icons? A Research Study


Also published on Medium.