The Next Big Thing: Responsive Icons

At first, when we get acquainted with this topic it was strange to hear about responsive iconography, while we have lately implemented icon fonts to make sure can scale pretty well for different devices. However, with the ides of responsive icons, we can move responsive iconography and design much further than we think. 

What does a responsive icon mean?

Responsive icons do not always mean that the width of the screen will be determined by the size of an icon. In reality, it means that another icon is shown based on the size it is presented in. Then this leads to the idea that screen size is of no big importance in comparison with the size of the icons. This is because certain icons can be shown in different sizes on the same screen, at the same time. 

Thus, the difference between icons will be just simple the displayed quality of detail. By saying this we mean having a lot of detail in an icon that can be shown at the big size of 500px by 500px, with a little less detail for the same icon that is shown at the size of 250px by 250px in size.  We are sure you can imagine in your head that only one icon will pretty boring, thus always try to render it. 

Why is it crucial?

With the rising interest for font icons, minimalistic design and responsive website have changed to adopt flat icons much more in your designs. Do not worry, we not saying that it is wrong or that all designers should make use of flat font icons. However, those who make use of it, are seeing step ahead. 

By developing responsive icons we can take iconography to a brand new stage where it helps us develop better usability, better experience, and better visual design for all users. As making use of responsive icons the main idea is to develop the web in a better way, which everyone needs and wants for you like your clients and the designer. 

How does Iconic fit here?

Iconic is a certain product that everyone has heard of it or at least have it in usage as the company has developed a collection of icons that are quite very popular. The team of experts at Iconic is taking risks in developing responsive icons. Moreover, the team is a force behind all this brand new trend, if we put it like this. 

Lately, Iconic has started and finished a successful Kickstarted campaign. As a result, the company has gained about $92 thousand. So far, it is precisely 618% of what they were needing. In comparison, they only planned to gain $15 thousand. With such a sum of money, they can study methods and technologies, that will help improve responsive icons as nowadays it is not that simple to do.  In fact, the company is planning to reform the current web iconography. 

So, if you see that image can be scalable it does not mean it can be clear and readable at various sizes. Usually, most visual elements have a certain optimal variant. You can relate icons in these elements too. To accomplish a much bigger range of icon legibility, each and every icon have to develop with various amounts of detail to appear great in three main size ranges like small, medium, and large. 

What is the latest situation with icons?

There are several ways you can try developing and adopting responsive icons. Let’s closely inspect the ways Iconic has created as potential solutions for your product. 

The easiest and most evident approach is to develop media and combine them with certain web fonts in pairs. It lies in the idea that despite each icon, that has the most and least amount of detail, has its specific font-weight (that can be or 200, or 400, or 600) and is a part of a single font face in a long run. Thus, as you change the size of the browser you are going to alter the font-weight that is used at a certain screen width so that your icon will be shown correctly. 

  • Develop a website with certain online builders

With the help of Slides App and Startup App, you are able to develop unlimited websites making use of specific online website editor that has fully-made coded and designed elements, themes, and templates.

Nevertheless, such a method may fail if you are looking for preciseness. It appears medial queries are still the main concept in developing different icons at various conditions.  

  • Element query polyfills

We are not sure if many people know what element query polyfills mean. Thus, let us explain this notion for you.  Think of them as if they are media queries that targeted elements. To some extent, it is a more simple and short variant of media queries. 

Such an idea of an element query is a pretty new concept. Usually, it is not supported by current browsers, however, if you combine it with JavaScript it will work quite well. 

The idea, that has been used by Iconic with element queries, is quite alike to those media queries with the situation when the size of certain icon alters, then its weight will alter accordingly to provide user needed icon. Why is it so amazing? Mainly because mixing media queries with element queries create a certain way for you to choose the proper icon at the needed time. 

  • SVG breakpoints

This is another way in which the Iconic company has indulged in exploring. Such ideas with SVG breakpoints is a very intriguing and extraordinary decision. SVG permits you to dynamically manage icons and elements so that you can reach new levels of static iconography. If you can think of mixing all of this with the media queries where any kind of icon can become a real push to alter independent of the actual size of the screen. Nevertheless, all of these situations are a little bit of a stretch while SVG breakpoints are quite completed to implement with DOM as for now. 

What should we expect?

Iconic is searching for a huge possibility to innovate in the sphere of web iconography. Many of us hope that the company will be able to do it quite soon. Concerning their successful Kickstarter campaign, the company is promising to provide a whole open toolkit of the source to help in efficiency and customization. Such a toolkit would permit the implementation of any kind of vector icons in pair with the sets the company will offer. 

To top it all, the company is planning to reform icons in more ways than we can imagine. One important thing they have talked about in their campaign is their wish to reform existing but old icon conventions as horrible floppy discs as the save icon. Nowadays none of us can relate to these floppy discs, mainly because none of us have seen them in many years and especially none of us used them. The team of Iconic has started to correct certain old-fashioned aspects of the design. We hope it will finish successfully because it is a true challenge. 

  • The Pros of responsive icons:
  • Flexibility – These icons can display a lot of details that mainly depend on the screen size. This can come in handy while there are a lot of screen sizes. For instance, there is a huge range of cinema screens and each of them different. Many designers may wish icons to become more illustrative on bigger screens.
  • Legibility – Any icon becomes more readable even at small sizes. There is no need to make it minimalistic when it is shown at a larger size. With the help of responsive icons, designers have the possibility to perfect icons according to display according to legibility across various sizes. 
  • Future-proof – the changeable nature of the responsive icons have already resulted in their optimization for new devices.
  • The Cons of responsive icons
  • Recognition –  more and more designers ask themselves how these responsive icons can influence user experience. If some icon alters in style, is it more difficult for users to remember it? The answer is probably uncertain. However, optimization will always need variation in the appearance of this or that design. While users become more used to icons on various devices from a certain brand, this issue will resolve. If anything, the altering icon may engage more with users, making them more satisfied. 
  • Time – You need a lot of time to design responsive icons. Of course, regular iconography already takes a lot of time, why should spend more on it? Although responsive web design needs much more time, the advantage of flexible solutions will push your business to brand new levels. 

Summary

The conclusion from all of said above is quite simple. We have offered you an overview of the upcoming technology that will improve our experience in more than one way. Try to imagine the variety of new experiences and UX innovations that will come hand and hand with responsive icons. We hope that Iconic will achieve great results in its research and development of this technology.

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Julia
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Julia

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