Do you have a complex program that requires many tools to be intuitively arranged and easy to find? One method to find out how your users will look for these tools is to do the card sort.
When running user experience tests, you can find our what’s hard to use or unclear about your design. Clarity is king.
Despite popular opinion, substituting images for text can often alienate potential customers who can’t figure out what you mean quickly enough. So instead of this:
You could use something like Microsoft Office does, a combination of pictures and text:
Alternately, for the tail of users that desire only visual icons, you can also study how quickly new users pick up on your symbolic images and how motivated they are to do so.
Today’s software complexity is growing, and with that comes a great need to manage interactions in a clear and engaging way.