Each week, I will feature a new UX resource that is free…until I run out of free resources, that is. I will tag these articles as UX Freebie so they are easier to locate. In addition, I will tweet the articles and tag them #uxfreebie in the event you would rather search through them there. The criteria for a resource to be a freebie is simple – it must be free, reviewed by me and UX related. This part of the site is about guiding you to a free UX resource so good you would have paid for it.
For 95% of my wireframes and prototypes, I use Axure – not Photoshop – because the interaction and function are more important than the visual design in the early phases of our development cycle. This becomes a problem when presenting our work because, as many of you know, clients can get wrapped around the wrong end of the axle when it comes to visual design. So over the past few years, I have emphasized consistency my designs. I used to piece together wireframe assets from icons I kept on file or sometimes from a site like iconfinder. This leads to a visual designer’s nightmare. So recently, I have started to use icon sets for a consistent and tight set of wireframes / prototypes. They usually afford a great deal of consistency and can give your wireframes a very professional look.
A colleague of mine, got me started with Font Awesome, which is an awesome icon set to use with Axure. However, there is a little configuration you have to do to get it to work. There is an RP library and a great Font Awesome Tutorial available here.
If you don’t use Axure or simply just need some icon sets in a PNG file, there are better choices than patchworking your own library together using various icon websites. Dryicons has a huge selection of icon sets – colored, shiny, flat or whatever your project needs. Another colleague of mine just sent through this site: Flaticon. I actually like this site better than the other simply because of the flat design of the icons. Who uses glossy icons anymore anyway?!?!
So there you have it for the week – three options for icons that will take your designs to a higher level…or at the very least maybe help you navigate the treacherous waters in presentations.