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I have an app that connects to a server (a computer) over bluetooth. Once the connection is made, there are chances that the connection drops (because the user can physically switch of bluetooth) so I have a mechanism to "ping" and check if the server is up and running.I want users to manually be able to ping a server.

Because "ping" is somewhat a technical term, how do I represent it graphically ?

One approach that I found with quick googling was to show a doorbell with a hand, something like this :

Ping Idea

(image via iconfinder.com)

This is an Android app and the icon will appear as an action button.

  • Hello and welcome t GD.SE you shoudl probably be asking this question on UX.SE – joojaa May 16 '15 at 6:54
  • @joojaa UX.SE migrates posts like this to here. It's not on topic there – Zach Saucier May 16 '15 at 7:00
  • @MarkMussler sucks but its not really on topic here either, so they should be denied the migration. I dont oppose keeping the question open but its still clearly a violation of rules and asking for free work. Shivek Khurana, see this post – joojaa May 16 '15 at 7:04
  • Howabout a connection symbol thenounproject.com/search/?q=connection – joojaa May 16 '15 at 7:10
  • Waves with a question mark rather than an antenna in the middle: ((?)) – Glenn Randers-Pehrson May 16 '15 at 13:06
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I think the best solution might be to not have a ping icon at all.

I have an app that connects to a server (a computer) over bluetooth. Once the connection is made, there are chances that the connection drops

I’ve spoken to a developer friend and Bluetooth disconnect/connect are events your app can register for. That seems like a far more sane way to go. That way you won’t need a ping icon, you’ll just have to handle the disconnection state. Far nicer for the user.

(because the user can physically switch off Bluetooth) so I have a mechanism to "ping" and check if the server is up and running. I want users to manually be able to ping a server.

You can actually just check if the device supports Bluetooth and then check to see if it’s enabled, with isEnabled(). Google’s documents cover what’s needed.

Android Bluetooth documentation

Next, you need to ensure that Bluetooth is enabled. Call isEnabled() to check whether Bluetooth is currently enable. If this method returns false, then Bluetooth is disabled.

https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/connectivity/bluetooth.html

  • Wow. Thanks for the input @Marc. Handling a dropped connection gracefully (progmatically) will be a great plus. This is going to my todo list straight away. – Shivek Khurana May 16 '15 at 15:34
  • This is a good answer, but very much the UX solution. So, as such, I'd vote that the question be migrated back to UX. – DA01 May 16 '15 at 20:02
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I like your approach but I think it's halfway there.

The hand gesture is great but it doesn't represent the the action result will be a ping. Here's a few suggestions (roughly done):

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  • Ok but could you please not make icons that span the page this much in the future :) – joojaa May 16 '15 at 10:01
  • Thank you @Naty for giving a kick-start and putting in the hard work. All illustrations are great but I like the second one the most. I'll design this further :) – Shivek Khurana May 16 '15 at 15:36
  • Using the Bluetooth rune instead of what people now associate with wi-fi might be more specific as well. – Voxwoman May 16 '15 at 16:50
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You could use an icon similar to the phone field strength (I mean, the 3-5 vertical bars that indicates the quality of a phone call) as seen in many video games. You could change the icon depending on the ping.

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There's no right answer to this. What icon you should use here is likely heavily dependent on the rest of the icons in your app.

All that said, I don't think a hand with a finger makes any sense as an icon here, as it's communicating what to do, rather than what it is.

I'd suggest using a front-desk bell:

https://thenounproject.com/term/bell/79519/

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