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I am building a flashcard web application and I want to give to the users the possibility to ask some help (mnemonics) to remember of something.
I'd like have a little icon that would represent in the best way possible "I need help to remember this".
The icon size will be very small, like the star in the screenshot : A screenshot of my project, showing a very small star icon on the bottom left of a flashcard. enter image description here Also like the star, there will be only the shape won't be filled (to avoid reading distraction), so that's why I would need a very simple, representative shape.
I thought to a lifesaver, but at such a small size we don't really understand what it is. I also thought to a question mark but I think that it's too general.
Have you got any idea ?

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5 Answers 5

I think the star or question mark both work. If someone is looking for help, the question mark is a dead giveaway as to where it's located. If it's merely a "remember this for later" the star works well there.

Some possible additional ideas:

  • Flag or Tag icon (i.e. flag this for later review)
  • Box / Checkmark
  • a stylized "r"
  • (somewhat trite) finger and ribbon
  • A speaker (if the mnemonic is audio in nature)
  • An (i) icon
  • A (+) icon
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Thank you for your answer, I see more the star as a way to "bookmark" a word that the user might like, in fact, in user interface, I think that it historically more represents a "save to the computer memory" function than "save to my brain" function, same thing for the flag/tag/+. –  Trevör Anne Denise Mar 15 at 8:17
    
But I think that I just found a radical way to solve my problem, I'm gonna update my post about that. –  Trevör Anne Denise Mar 15 at 8:18

A pin might fit well with your current design.

As in 'put a pin in it for later', also popularised by Pinit. There should not be any legal problems as the concept comes from a physical act that's probably existed since the creation of pins.

Something like this:

enter image description here

Image from here.

The flag idea was from Scott I just included it as it was the best image I could Google quickly.

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Thanks for your answer, I answered my own question about that. –  Trevör Anne Denise Mar 15 at 8:18

So you want to offer the user a hint to find the answer for the current card. Why not just say "hint"? Put some subtle text down there rather than the icon and no one will ever have to guess.

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I did tried to replace the icons on the flashcard with some text, but sadly, because of the little amount of text on the card (2 words), the fact to add other words is doubling the quantity of text on the flashcard, because of that, in my tests, even a subtle text was disturbing for the reading... –  Trevör Anne Denise Mar 15 at 8:14
    
It's all in the styling. –  plainclothes Mar 17 at 22:26

If I understand you properly, you need some "matching/solving" icon. In my opinion the left lower icon can be clearly understood by users as "Press me and I will give you a hint -

enter image description here

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Diter Rams says "Less, but better." and I think that it's actually the best way to solve my problem : I think that a user will need some help only if he have some difficulties to remember of something, and In fact, I can detect automatically if he have got some big difficulties, in that case, I will display some help automatically, only if he really needs it, which might not be often the case given the way flashcards are working.
About the star, I'm also reconsidering it's integration to my web app, I will see if It's a really useful feature.

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