Everybody Does Right Wrong

Posted by Jaq Andrews |03 Feb 15 |

February 3, 2015

Whenever I see an arrow pointing right in a website or app, I cringe a little.

There’s just no consensus on the use of the right arrow. Despite—or perhaps because of—decades of use (and, arguably, misuse), you can never be sure what a right arrow will do.

Interfaces work best when the symbols for controls are standardized: An X means “close.” A circle with a vertical line through the top is a power switch. The three-lined “hamburger” button has quickly been adopted as a menu reveal control.

The right arrow, though, is so generic that it’s employed in a multitude of functions. Even worse, it’s often stylized to resemble a slightly different symbol, further muddying the waters. In my extensive clicky travels, I’ve catalogued four main types of right arrow:

→ A literal arrow symbol, with a stem and point (Unicode: 2192).

▶ A…read more
By Jaq Andrews