Thought and Analysis

What’s in an icon?

22 February 2018

No, not sporting, musical, or political Icons. I’m talking about those graphical icons representing buttons we press to do something in the software we use. Great user experience includes functionality and visual appeal. Icons are a key part of the overall appeal. That’s why we’re now updating the visual appeal of Tidy.

What’s in an icon?

Why make changes? Well, it’s simple. We put a lot of focus into our functionality and we get a lot of praise for that. We've had a plan to shift more attention to our visual interface, and recently as we’ve been listening carefully to our customers and prospects we've heard a few of them start to say “…it looks a bit dated”. So we knew the time was right focus on this.

It’s fair to say that the look and feel of a web interface for a cloud product is one of the key parts that can make for, or detract from, a pleasing user experience. We also know that not everyone likes change so we’ve taken care and done lots of consultation internally and with our customers in making this new change.

Giving Tidy a fresh look



Crafting an icon set is the hard part. What conveys meaning to one person may not convey the same to another. In fact, we have spent months balancing the needs of both new customers and our long time power-users.

We now have an icon set we believe fits with our product. Clean, clear, easy to understand. We’ve also worked to give icons a single colour, so the colour set is intuitive and meaningful.

Improving the interaction with hover-over menus

Gone are the days when everything needs to be ‘clicked’ to get a response. But defining the balance between intuitive and annoying is always challenging. We’ve looked at how customers navigate Tidy, and modified the main navigation tabs so they display instantly when you hover, without requiring an extra click.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive to the new look. A few weren’t happy but we did know that would happen with such a large user community. Pleasing all is almost impossible but we do try!

We hope you are one of the users who positively like and appreciate the change.