Recently, one of you asked about how icons are used by customers:
kareldries I'm joining this community to learn more about why people design icons and how their icons are used in actual projects.
Types of customers on Iconfinder
Here is some information about what types of customers visit Iconfinder and what they use the icons for. This is based on surveys we ran in 2018 and 2019, on user interviews, and on feedback received at customer support.
What customers use icons for
From the respondents to our survey in 2018, we see that customers use icons for:
Learnings from customer feedback
Depending on their use case, customers are looking for different things on Iconfinder. Some of these things are:
1) Consistency. This is the most important thing for customers. Consistency means having icons that match with each other.
As an example, here is what a customer said:
"One of the challenges of using a site to buy individual icons is that it takes time to compile a set with matching styles. Many times, the icon designer does not have all of the icon categories we need, which means we must form a set of icons from different designers and make them appear to be from a set - even though they are not."
Another customer mentioned this:
"I want the icons I use throughout a presentation to be similar in color, level of detail, the degree of "realism" etc. It is very common to find several icons that fit the requirements but also find that they do not work well together."
Recommendation for consistency: Organise your sets in families where customers can find a large variety of icons that match (they have the same style, look and feel, line weights etc.)
2) Variety. Some customers like to have many types of icons to choose from. For example, a freelance designer that is working on many different projects needs a large variety of icons that are different from each other, as his clients will have different requirements too.
Here are some notes from a conversation with a customer:
"She needs all sorts of icons in different styles - form icons for homepage sections to “tiger rescue” and “medical device”. "
Recommendation for variety: Diversify your styles, try different things, represent many concepts and think of many use cases.
3) Uniqueness. Some customers are looking for icons that are distinctive in their style, color scheme, shapes, etc, so that the end product they are creating also has that quality.
Example from a conversation with a customer:
"He prefers to find unique icons that are not overused elsewhere / not “mainstream”. He believes Iconfinder is amazing for that since we have such a huge database."
4) How well an icon represents a concept. There are customers who are looking for some very specific concepts and would like to find icons for all of them.
Here are some examples from what customers have been telling us:
"More detailed search algorithms for “concept” icons: “frustrated”, “loyalty” etc. we could encourage designers to think more about these intangible concepts when creating/tagging icons. "
Another customer said:
"As I am creating an illustrative vocabulary app, for me it’s more important how closely the icons represent the word/phrase I'm looking for."