New set of icons

Case number:845833-990786
Topic:Game: Display
Opened by:Eolindel
Opened on:Sunday, October 9, 2011 - 22:06
Last modified:Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - 22:31

As explained here:

The icons used are quite confusing. This fact is reflected by the use of the same file for different icons in various places of the game.

The best example is the wiggles which points to dektop-preferences-locale.png for three different actions : wiggle all, wiggle sidechains and wiggle backbone.

There are several similar situations (for the input-gaming.png icon for example)

It would be really nice to have self-explanatory icons.

On top of that it seems that quite a huge number of icons in the images folder are not used. It would be simpler to delete what is not used.

On top of that, the filenames are confusing as they were not changed from the original ones in the crystal icones theme. emblem-readonly.png refers to the freeze unfreeze action.

I made a set of icons based on the different actions used in fold it :

Everything is taken from open source pictures or self made icons.

I have everything set in a svg file which can easily be edited if you need.

I already created the icons and the game works quite well despite the fact that I cannot assign a specific icon to an action because of the "several icons/on image" problem.

(Sun, 10/09/2011 - 22:06  |  8 comments)

Joined: 09/27/2011
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Here are a collection of snapshots of the in game icons I created.

Joined: 09/22/2011
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This is perhaps not such a bad idea, as there are a small number of graphics within the program that probably could (or should) be changed. However, there are a few problems with your idea, which holds me back from rating it with +1

If the icons were to be self-explanatory (and they should be), then they should relate to the actions that they perform. The following icons you provided don't really relate to the tool:

  • lightning strikes for the wiggle tools
  • swirl for Shake Sidechains
  • switch for disable bands
  • scissors for cut bands (the same thing rotated is not very awe inspiring)

You've got "Cut Bands", but the tool is named "Remove Bands".

I will admit that it can be tricking coming up with good icons, but you should put some more thought into them, if you want to get people's attention.

Also, why are they in black and white? Why aren't they coloured? Did you want to see/hear people's opinions of them first, before colouring them?

This "several icons on image" problem may be attributed to a different image resolution, than your target's resolution (game images). You might want to check out the DPI (or resolution) setting in your graphics editing program.

Joined: 09/27/2011
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What would be more self-explanatory for wiggle and shake ? It's quite hard to have an image which corresponds to a verb. I'm really open to suggestions. For me that's where is really nice to have tutorials where users could learn that ligntning is associated to wiggle.

A switch shows that you activate or deactivate something it's true that you do not see what is switched but currently, it's the same. But I could do the same as for the undo things : use two small icons to have a verb and the object.

For the scissors, I didn't catch your idea, for you, it should be pointing upward ? I just used the same as currently.

For the black and white, for me, it's much more readable, especially for small icons.(some of my icons are not that readable though, but it's a draft) I usually started with colored images that where converted to black and white. Moreover, to my tastes, it helps to have something which is rather efficient and homogeneous. In the end, we are not distracted by the icons as they correspond to the "background" and can be focused on the important : the protein folding.

For the last part, I misspelled "one". I meant "Several icons/one image" to underline that currently, different icons not only use the same icon, but also the same file. As a consequence, if I change the smiley used for "yes/I agree" etc.. I also change the smiley in social for "buddies". Which is quite problematic.

Joined: 09/22/2011
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Wiggle? Maybe have a caterpillar wiggling, or a person's finger wiggling. If you have read comic books (or comic strips) before, then you will know what movement marks look like. If you don't like the caterpillar or finger idea, then maybe just have the backbone and/or chain wiggling. I don't mean to be rude, but I can't say that lightning can be associated with wiggling, except perhaps the effect of somebody or something twitching spasmodically after being hit by lightning.

Shake could be a milkshake, a maraca, or a person's hand shaking. Maybe it could just extend on the idea above, using different coloured movement marks on a backbone and/or chain.

The bands icon could be a taught rubber band for enable, and a loose rubber band for disable. Delete bands could be a pair of scissors through a rubber band.

Oracle could be a crystal ball, like the ones Fortune Tellers use. Peekaboo could be an eye, peeking through curtains or blinds.

I do, however, like your Exploration Map and Freeze Protein icons, maybe even the Electron Density one, so they are not all bad.

A black and white colour scheme might work well for those people who are colour-blind, but I would say most people are going to opt for coloured icons; they don't really distract people's view of the protein that much, especially when they can simply be hidden briefly by clicking on the menu or tab, which caused them to appear in the first place.

In any case, I commend your efforts in bringing your idea (and icons) to us.

Joined: 09/27/2011
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Thank you for your kind and constructive reply. I will try to improve my icon set and post about it. (unfortunately, we cannot edit our posts which is quite cumbersome)

Your peekaboo idea is really interesting.

The main idea behind, is that if every icon points to a different file, even if it is the same image, everyone could create its own icon set and share it with everyone else without any constraint for the developing team.

Because underneath, everybody could create its own icon set, zip it and say that you have to unpack it in the images folder of the cmp-xxx folder. It's exactly what I did and it works quite well except for the different icons pointing to the same file.

For colors, it's a point of view. But as I'm not a graphist, it's easier to create in black and white. With the idea pointed above, people could use a specific icon set depending on their will and tastes as well as use the default one.

Joined: 09/22/2011
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So your initial idea was bi-fold? The idea of themes is also a good one. However, it may be even harder for you to convince the developers to make the necessary changes. I have already made several suggestions for this program, but the developers have yet to reply (or anyone else, for that matter). I wish you the best of luck.

Ayelis's picture
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Joined: 09/19/2011
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Has the 'skinnable interface' idea already been suggested? Because I'd like to, if it hasn't. Then you can make whatever icons you like and perhaps post them in a new 'skins' section in the forums? :)

I'd love to try out all the skins this community could dream up!

Joined: 10/11/2011
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I see nothing wrong with the icons we have now.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, Boehringer Ingelheim, RosettaCommons