Clarity, Readability, Alignment, Brevity, Consistency, Personality, Ease of Use

Clarity, Readability, Alignment, Brevity, Consistency, Personality, Ease of Use

When most successful, icons are not only easy to understand for one group of people but are universal across cultures, ages, and backgrounds. Consider your audience and use metaphors and colors that resonate with them.
Keep in mind that a standalone icon may not be the clearest solution, if the idea being represented is too abstract. In this case, pair the icon with a text label or find an alternative.
Readability
Once you have an understandable symbol, make sure its readable.
Icons in the Amtrak mobile app
Its hard to make out the Amtrak apps Station icon above (first row) because the details are too fine.
The Transit apphas a similar issue. Their clipboard icon reads as a blob because the space between the board and clip is too small:
Icons in the Transit mobile app
A slight adjustment makes a big improvement:
Adjusted clipboard icon
When working with multiple shapes, leave enough space between them. Thinner strokes, and more of them, will make the icon busier and harder to read.
Google Maps does an excellent job with their transit iconsvery readable at a very small size:
Google Map icons
Alignment
To make sure each icon feels balanced, align its elements optically.

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