Opened 18 months ago

Last modified 13 months ago

#5524 new defect

Question mark icon used to indicate information in the toolbar button

Reported by: mjethani Assignee:
Priority: Unknown Milestone:
Module: Platform Keywords:
Cc: sebastian, jeen, greiner, fhd Blocked By:
Blocking: Platform: Unknown / Cross platform
Ready: no Confidential: no
Tester: Unknown Verified working: no
Review URL(s):

Description

Environment

Adblock Plus 1.13.3 for Chrome and Opera

How to reproduce

Simply look at the "information" notification icons (*-notification-information.png) in the adblockpluschrome repo (e.g. abp-40-notification-information.png)

Observed behaviour

The icon displays a question mark (?)

Expected behaviour

The icon should display an i or something else that indicates that it's information and not a question

Notes

It is highly unlikely that this was intentional, as it makes no sense. There is already a "question" type of notification, the icon makes sense for that one. It makes no sense to display a question mark when it is not a question.

Change History (6)

comment:1 follow-up: Changed 18 months ago by greiner

It is highly unlikely that this was intentional, as it makes no sense.

This was intentional. From what I remember, the designer who introduced it told me that his findings showed that the "i" symbol is not a globally understood indicator for information.

comment:2 in reply to: ↑ 1 Changed 18 months ago by mjethani

Replying to greiner:

It is highly unlikely that this was intentional, as it makes no sense.

This was intentional. From what I remember, the designer who introduced it told me that his findings showed that the "i" symbol is not a globally understood indicator for information.

I may very well be wrong about this, but I have a hunch that it was quite the opposite. i.e. the designer meant to use i for both information and question, but somehow the message got corrupted (human misunderstanding, file copying error, etc.). The first clue here is the fact that the files are named *-notification-information.png while displaying a ?, even though they're used for both types of notification; you would expect them to be named *-notification-question.png to match their content. It may have been an error in naming the files, which may have caused the wrong files to be copied.

Anyhow, the standard seems to be to use i when the system is offering up some information to the user (alerts) and use ? to indicate that the user may ask for more information from the system (help).

The Microsoft guidelines clarify this:

Don't use the question mark icon to ask questions. Again, use the question mark icon only for Help entry points. There is no need to ask questions using the question mark icon anyway—it's sufficient to present a main instruction as a question.

This has come up on UX Stack Exchange as well:

https://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/64920/info-icon-vs-question-mark
https://ux.stackexchange.com/questions/21102/best-uses-of-help-and-i-information-icons-in-ui

The convention seems to be to use i even when the system is posing a question to the user.

Note that this may not translate exactly to the physical world. In the case of information desks at airports, for example, they still use i even though it's the user who is asking the question. Anyway, I have never seen ? being used where clearly i should be used, even in the physical world.

By the way, I can see that i may not translate well to other locales, especially in places where they don't even use the Latin script, but then we need to localize the icons. It's not a good reason to use ?.

comment:3 Changed 18 months ago by greiner

I think all your points are valid and I'm not trying to defend that decision. In the contrary, I'd welcome it if the Product team could help prove or disprove the assumption that was made and the sources you mention definitely sound useful in that regard.

Maybe Felix can provide further insight into the reasonings since he created the initial implementation, if you're interested in finding out more about that.

comment:4 Changed 18 months ago by mjethani

  • Cc fhd added

comment:5 Changed 13 months ago by fhd

No, I don't remember specifics. I just know that the designer who introduced this isn't working on ABP anymore, so it's up to Jeen/Martin whether they want to change that.

comment:6 Changed 13 months ago by jeen

@mjethani, I agree with your points and given that we have both question and informational notifications. The ? in the icon conveys a different message to an i icon .

Where the ? suggests that the system is offering information to the user which may require an action, while ´i´ is more passive information.

Additionally, i to represent *information* in the real world is recognised by both the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization). So I generally agree with you on this @mjethani, and will look into updating this to make the difference clear.

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