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The ineffectiveness of lonely icons

February 11th, 2019 Leave a comment Go to comments

Icons are great and all, but as we’ve been shown time and time again, they often don’t do the job all by themselves. Even if you do a good job with the accessibility part and make sure there is accompanying text there for assistive technology, in an ironic twist, you might be confusing people who browse visually, like the situation Matt Wilcox describes with his mother in this linked article.

I’m a fan of this markup pattern, including the inline SVG as the preferred icon system:

<button>
  <svg class="icon icon-cart" viewBox="0 0 100 100" aria-hidden="true">
    <!-- all your hot svg action, like: -->
    <path d=" ... " />
  </svg>
  Add to Cart
</button>

Or, if the button is really a link and not a JavaScript-powered action, I’ll use an instead of a

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