We all have a clue or most of us are aware of what is a responsive design, its importance, media queries and blah, blah so on. Responsiveness is nothing but every page of your website should look good and function well. If you think that’s it and you should be proud about it, think again. Often designers miss one element of web development, icons. Ask yourself, are your icons looking good? Are your icons responsive? This post is all about understanding the importance of responsive icons.
Well to begin with, this is a completely new concept and here we mean that when you have a responsive website, why not have your icons responsive too. Responsive images are same image with different sizes for different screens. However, as it works with images it may not be equivalently good with the icons. For example you have a spiral shaped icon. You may have the icon look absolutely stunning at its original size but as you scale it up or down it may just get worse with squishing of details. The only resort here is responsive icons. What does it do? Well, as the shape shifts, their details and design changes to accommodate the size of the platform they are to be used.
There is a need of more diverse and flexible programming and web design and that is how any responsive design or responsive icons react. With multiplier growth in mobile phone and laptop users, responsive design is much in demand as these devices have screens smaller than a desktop computer. The most traffic on the internet is generated by mobile phone users and as this demand increases there will be more confusion in terms of multiple pages, controls, scrolling and shrinking.
After reviewing a range of responsive icons, designers always create responsive icons in packs. These are nothing but almost like complex animated GIFs in several versions. For example, as you zoom in or out the icon will change its shape and design. In most cases the larger icon is added on with more details while the smaller ones be diminished and simple mostly two coloured. A responsive icon is all about consistency, which is maintained across all kinds of devices.
When it comes to web function, responsive icons play an important role even if they are small. They can be recognized and have a vital role to play in affirming major control functions.
Icons are controls of navigating to the required place for a specific task or function. There have been many experiments done like designers have used line drawings to specify a particular instruction but eventually they have to convert those lines into something that is easily communicated to the end users. Not just the icon but also work on colour schemes, typography and layouts for a cleaner look of the complete website.
If you want to get some references, follow the links under for some iconi-ic inspiration!
Making Iconic Responsive (a look at how the popular web icon set Iconic has implemented responsive design)
ResponsiveIcons (a simple responsive icon demo)
ResponsiveLogos (a really cool demo expanding the responsive icon idea to logo design)