Re: Google's Gear Icon


The gear icon has been used for the tools menu in lots of places for years.  I believe you will find it in Internet Explorer probably going back to version 5.x and probably below.  I don't know if it particularly matters to designers if that makes much sense and I don't know if it does visually.  I would think a tools icon should be a tiny representation of some tools or of a tool chest but a gear is not a tool. 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2016 5:47 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Google's Gear Icon

I agree! I much prefer text descriptions.

But as you know, almost everyone, e.g. Apple, Google, Microsoft really, really love the graphical user interface.

The gear symbol has become a cross platform annoyance for some of us, but many people look for it to adjust settings for Safari, Google, photography sites, chess sites...whatever.

I suppose gears are used to adjust many mechanical things like watches, etc, so the symbolism carried over to iconism.

Just my half-asleep thoughts.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Brian's Mail list account
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2016 5:03 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Google's Gear Icon

So then, why don't google simply label it as settings button drop down or
something more obvious than at present.

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Gary Bowers" <gdbowers@...>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 3:41 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Google's Gear Icon

Thanks, Brian. That really was a helpful reply and I appreciate it.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Brian
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2016 9:02 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Google's Gear Icon


          The answer to this depends on which Google pages you're talking
about.  On pages such as Gmail's page and the Google Calendar, where the
button is presented "wide" and there is a dropdown arrow next to the gear I
can consistently find it by doing an NVDA search using "settings" as my
search criterion.  NVDA throws focus on to the button, announcing, "Menu
Button collapsed, submenu settings."  If one then hits Enter the dropdown
menu appears and you can arrow up or down through it.

          On other Google pages, e.g., Drive, where it does not appear as a
stand alone button but as a button on a toolbar I get myself into Browse
mode and either use B or SHIFT+B to traverse buttons until I land on the
settings button in the toolbar, which is announced, "Toolbar Settings Menu
Button collapsed submenu."  Again if you hit enter the settings menu itself
will open.   There's got to be a better way than this but I've not practiced
enough with the touch cursor features yet, which might prove helpful here.
There aren't that many buttons on most of these pages so resorting to a
brute force search traversal is not an all day affair.


I worry a lot. . . I worry that no matter how cynical you become it's never
enough to keep up.

         ~ Trudy, in Jane Wagner's "Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in
the Universe"

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