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Benefits to using icons as part of your web design

Benefits to using icons as part of your web design - Header image

When designing a website, an important element which has many benefits to your business are utilising icons. They can help with navigation and are easily recognisable to visitors, making a website visually appealing and improve the user experience too.

Icons on website can also be used to help with encouraging visitors to take action on your site. For example, making an enquiry or finding out more information on a particular part of your buying process for a customer.

It is important though to ensure icons compliment your brand guidelines and personality, to further benefit the web design. Whilst not cluttering and being misunderstood by visitors.

Our blog post will look at the benefits to icons as part of designing a website. Along with useful tips to consider if looking to create a new website or considering a re-design.

Visual Recognition

A main benefit when chosen to include icons as part of a website design is the visual communication they provide. A challenge is keeping a visitors attention, particularly if you have a high level of information that need to include as part of the website. Using icons can help to break up large sections of text.

Icons provide the ability for users to quickly identify a section on a web page which they are after, such as particular services. When they are recognisable icons they may not even need to read much text to then find the answer to their query.

Typically people will come to your website for different reasons and at different stages within the buying process, using icons can help users to decide the right part of the page that is relevant for them. People can process images quicker than text, so the visual recognition can help benefit their user experience.

For example, they may want to find quickly how to contact you, for this using a recognisable icon for a phone may help them to take action simpler and more efficiently.

We touched on this above, that icons can help with navigation on your website. It is important to note for icons to benefit your navigation they need to be planned out thoroughly before hand. Consider what actions you are hoping to achieve and the path a customer is likely to take. This will help to decide what icons would be useful to your website.

When designing a website, the icons should compliment the rest of the design without the created icons being used without a purpose or incorporated succinctly into the design. If done incorrectly it can actually lead to being confusing and cluttering the website. Such as using unfamiliar symbols for your icons or overusing them with a mix of styles. Achieving the opposite of their intended benefits.

By using the right icons and in the right places it will help to navigate users to the right information they are after. Icons should be instantly recognisable, ideally without even needing to see the text alongside. They are there first to meet a functional purpose, therefore the design should be simple and clear so they are easy to use when navigating on the website.

Benefits to using icons as part of your web design - Navigation

Brand Personality

To make the most of the benefits of using icons on your website. As part of the project after the functionality of the icons, having well designed icons which reflect your brand style and personality is important to get right and have consistency across all icons used throughout the website. It would be useful to look at inspiration from other websites too to help with this.

If your brand is a traditional style for your font, colours and logo etc. then using a modern and fun set of icons isn’t what website visitors would expect to see. Therefore, the icon designs should fit with how you want to be represented as a brand. There is no limit to how you could edit the design so the icons work just right for your business.

Icons can represent the same symbol and meaning, whilst having a different shape, formats, size, colours etc. for the image to suit your guidelines and personality. Whilst there are free website icons or free design resources available to download, it is worth bearing in mind these free icons aren’t tailored to your design guidelines and also will be widely used, so not specific to your business or personalised.

It is recommended to design bespoke icon files such as in Adobe Illustrator and take into account the icon sets should be consistent, so when seen together on the website they compliment one another. Icons can help with building your personality and how want the business to be recognised.


There are various elements to your icons which will benefit from being tested to ensure they will help the user experience and performing as best they can for your website. From testing any improvements or changes can be made to help further benefit their visual appeal and navigation throughout the website.

To start with test that the icons designed are recognisable. Whilst you may know exactly what image or symbol is intended to represent and the meaning behind the icon. It is worth asking colleagues, friend and family to download icons to get their viewpoint. There are some symbols which are widely recognisable round the world, so it may be that some of your icons need a re-think or need a re-design.

Icons should also be tested in-situ on the website so you can test across all device and screen sizes. Remembering that they will be much smaller when viewed from a mobile phone.

If an icon design is too intricate and detailed, it might not be familiar when then seen smaller on a phone or tablet versus a desktop computer or laptop. If more of the visitors to your website are from mobile, then definitely an important factor to consider in the testing.

Icons should exist on your website to enhance the usability and functionality of the website, including the navigation and improve converting users to take an action. Such as completing a download or clicking a link to make an enquiry or go onto make a purchase. Taking the time to test and make any needed improvements to your icon will help to maximise the benefits of icons for your web design.

How Can We Help?

We hope you found our blog post useful to understand further the benefits to including icons on your website. Having icons consistent with your brand and used to help the function and navigation on your website, will benefit the user experience and ultimately your goals such as increased conversions.

It is important that icons are designed correctly to achieve these benefits without confusing or cluttering a website. At 1PCS Creative we are experienced at delivering impactful websites with relevant functional and visually appealing icons as part of the design where relevant.

If you would like to discuss how we can help if you are considering a new website or a redesign, please feel free to get in touch with a member of our team. We would be more than happy to help.

Ben Webster

Creative director at 1PCS. Addicted to design, SEO, pizza and helping companies big and small succeed online.

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Article By

Ben Webster

Creative director at 1PCS. Addicted to design, SEO, pizza and helping companies big and small succeed online

Need some help? Pop me an email [email protected]


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