Log in/log out icons- which padlock to use?

5 Dec 2011 - 11:56pm
2 years ago
5 replies
1894 reads
savvy
2011

Regarding new log in/log out icons for mobile Android app- my product mgr wants to use the padlocks. Would Log in be the closed or open padlock (and log out would be the other, obviously)? On the one hand, I think when it's "locked" (closed), that means you're logged in already... but I've also seen it where the locked means it REQUIRES a log in... opinions??

thx

Comments

6 Dec 2011 - 11:38am
wraevn
2010

Given the choice between A and B I'd choose C :-)

To me, locks indicate security. Is the connection secured (locked padlock) or unsecured (unlocked padlock). Logged In and Logged Out on the other hand are simply states of connectivity - so the icon you're looking for emotes Connected, NOT Connected. you can ALSO have a locked/unlocked icon after they're logged in to indicate whether the connection is secure or not.

For logged in/out I'd look into icons that indicate connection - a toggle, a plug, a light etc. - something that has 2 states but that doesn't indicate anything else other than logged in/out.

6 Dec 2011 - 1:05pm
Shaun Bergmann
2007

"It Depends".

What's the platform of the application?  The metaphor as it relates to Android's padlock icons aren't for "logging in" or "logging out".
On a phone or tablet, the device's screen is locked, the swiping gesture of the padlock is to unlock the screen.
While the screen is locked; sure, the icon does show an unlocked padlock, but it also has the affordance displayed to indicate a required action (the arrow on the slider bar, or the more robust animation on a tablet).
It's "Affect this hardware"

If you're talking about a desktop or web based application, or if it's for a simple 3-state button, I'd suggest the padlock icons have nothing to do with it, as there's already the long held relationship to https or otherwise secured connections.

On Mon, Dec 5, 2011 at 9:13 PM, savvy <jaime_wolf@rocketmail.com> wrote:

Regarding new log in/log out icons for mobile Android app- my product mgr wants to use the padlocks. Would Log in be the closed or open padlock (and log out would be the other, obviously)? On the one hand, I think when it's "locked" (closed), that means you're logged in already... but I've also seen it where the locked means it REQUIRES a log in... opinions??

thx

((
6 Dec 2011 - 1:32pm
savvy
2011

platform is both Android (for now) and eventually iOS- we've got one application that needs to live on many platforms and want to make the iconography and experience as similar as possible. Before I was brought onto the project, 3 different versions (iPhone, iPad, Android) were created by 3 different vendors- no two look alike, etc. And the original is our website, which has its own icons, but we're not using them on the website, therefore, I can create new ones for the mobile apps (but the icons are: login: a key overlaid with a plus sign; logout- key with a red X).

I agree, the padlock means something different- security-related- to me. What are your alternative suggestions if it's in a field of other icons on a dashboard type screen? I.e., I'm not sure that something with a swipe/toggle would do it, since all the other icons on the screen are tappable. I don't really want to mix gestures on the same field of icons...

thx--

7 Dec 2011 - 4:52am
Jochen Wolters
2010

Savvy,

as a status indicator icon for "connected"/"not connected", Netscape Navigator used a plug-and-socket icon, which looked a bit like the ends of a extension power cord. I think that's a reasonably intuitive metaphor.

In this (randomly picked) screenshot, it's the icon next to the padlock in the lower right corner of the window. The state in the screenshot is "connected". In the "not connected" state, the two "halves" are separated, and one of them shows two prongs.

J.

7 Dec 2011 - 11:49am
savvy
2011

thank you, all! I managed to convince my manager that we should move it up to the title banner of the screen (instead of putting it with the other labelled icons, which meant finding an appropriate icon), just as a tappable text area. So, problem avoided- but it helped my case to tell her you all agreed the lock wasn't really appropriate. thank you!

Savvy

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