Seen this image above right? I guess every one on earth understands the difference between the two in the bottom image. One indicates Gents and other, Ladies. The icon speaks it out. That is exactly what I am trying to say in this post.
Right from the ancient civilisations, symbols were a good form of communication. Most of times a drawing of Bison, communicated to the other humans in the tribe that there was a Bison around. Rock paintings, cave arts, which later developed into Petroglyphs, all can now be considered as various symbols of communication. Such symbols can now be now called icons, and there are in fact the easiest form of communication.
Use of Icons in Web
In the same way icons/symbols are widely used in the web space as well. To put it straight, here:
--> indicates 752 "likes"
--> indicates 10 "comments"
In fact in the web space, icons are rather used as easy tool to attract people towards the content. If your website has the idea of converting a noun into a verb( like how Googling became a verb), then try your best to have designed icon for it. Erm, it all depends on the way how you use it.
Advantages of Icons
- Effective use of icons enhances the visual experience of your Blog/Website
- Saves space. Instead of putting in a full "TWITTER" just will do. This looks really good and is helpful in your contact page, email signature, etc
- Shows the amount of detailing in your website.
- Enables faster navigation for the user, hence chances to get the website registered in the users' minds are more.
In every sense, icons if used in the proper way would bring you proper results.