Usability - SIG, Spin, Echo icons [was Re: Icon theme for ubuntu]

Martin Sourada martin.sourada at
Thu Nov 22 12:15:09 UTC 2007

On Thu, 2007-11-22 at 11:17 +0100, David Nielsen wrote:
> I just walked away from the screen to see which icons would work at that
> distance - I would disagree that you have well defined shapes to begin
> with. I also remind you that having a strong black outline helps the
> brain define the shape which is why the games icon appears to work so
> well.
OK, then assume they are not so well defined. BUT. As I look at the
filtered images I see no difference as to how well is the shape defined
in original and in filtered images. It's just that some details are
washed out, but the shape remains defined to same extent (which you
think is not enough).

> I would heavily argue that for usability and accessibility reasons, the
> iso prespective needs to not be used for menu icons, they appear way to
> small and you lose a lot of the shape that we rely on for pattern
> recognition.
I can only say I have to disagree. I see there more degrees of freedom
when defining 3D (meaning isometric perspective) shape than in defining
2D (meaning head on perspective) shape, which basically means that we
are able to further distinguish in 3D between shapes that are
indistinguishable in 2D. And I think one should be able to clearly
distinguish *between* the shapes.

> Why am I suddenly reminded of that old game Lemmings?
Sadly, I don't know this game.

> To be honest, that sounds like a waste of time to me given that I spend
> an hour typing up a mail with a list of issues for you and you replied
> that you did not see them. You are really not making a good case for
> Echo as being able or willing to change to adapt to the needs to the
> visually impaired, I am more than will to accept that as your choice but
> it will remain a strong argument against Echo as our default iconset.
> - David

That I don't see them it does not mean that I don't care about them. I
appreciate what you did, but I fail to see the problem there - my eyes
or brain just are not capable of seeing the problem where you see it (so
your guidance in this matter would be appreciated). You are the one with
experience, so if You could help to improve the guidelines, it would
make Echo better in the future.

And once more to the shape... My eyes aren't so good when seeing distant
objects, so I tried to go further from my PC while looking at tritanope
image. All shapes there lost their clear differences between themselves
more or less at the same time, so when I say I do not see there a
problem it means that I do not see it physically, from which one could
assume that the problem isn't here, but you say it is here, so I am most
likely wrong.


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