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I have a website showing a matrix of Scheduled Operations Matrix

the matrix has server names on the y-axis and dates on the x-axis

I need an icon that represents "No Schedule".

My first thought was Grey Minus icon ,but I really don't feel like this is the right icon for "No schedule" or "nothing happened".

What would be the "right" pictogram for this in your opinion?

The data I'm showing is a matrix of clickable status indicators (the icons are the status indicators) - when you click an icon, you get details about the event.

My icons suite looks like this;

  • Success - Scheduled Operation Succeeded (Nothing went wrong)
  • InProgress - Scheduled Operation is In progress
  • Failed - Operation missed its scheduled (basically as hard fail)
  • Warning - Scheduled Operation Failed
  • Waiting - Scheduled Operation is waiting to start
  • For something like this maybe just having text is better, as that way it won't be misinterpretted – MephistonX Sep 28 '15 at 11:55
  • I would have gone with this, but when trying it out in the matrix, it looks horrible unfortunately – Alex Carlsen Sep 28 '15 at 12:04
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Ask yourself: what is the consequence for the user? Does it matter to them? Do they need to refresh/retry/debug/uninstall/pick differently/etc.?

If it is a plain error, need to make an error icon. If action is required you need to make an icon for the action required. Context is more important than technical information.

––

After Edit: go with an inactive version of your icons: gray icon

  • See update :) It does matter to the user what the status is – Alex Carlsen Sep 28 '15 at 12:16
  • Then i.stack.imgur.com/Z2gU7.png should do just fine? – KMSTR Sep 28 '15 at 12:36
  • @VisualBean KMSTR is right: is "No data" a problem? Does it need the user to do something? Focus on what the user needs to do (if anything), and only if there is nothing to do and the reason why there is nothing to do is important, go to a grey icon (or whatever). – Andrew Leach Sep 28 '15 at 12:59
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    @VisualBean Presumably your green tick, if all is well. Or perhaps a white circle within a green blob (for "zero but that's OK"). It depends what "Nothing happened" means for the user. – Andrew Leach Sep 28 '15 at 13:04
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    So it's a hardcore status icon. Well, if nothing happened, make nothing. e.g. a gray circle (no outlines as that would be too different) – KMSTR Sep 28 '15 at 13:24
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To imply nothing happened / no data, I would use "nothing" - IE an empty circle:

enter image description here

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Yellow icons tell users there is an issue, you better check because there may be a problem couldn't caught by application logic. Red icons tell users there is an error, no matter it is important or not: it is an error that disable application to do something. Typically, in this kind of situations, result could not be created.

Although it is believed that green symbols refer to success, it generally (IMHO ought to be) is not. They inform users about something is ongoing, which may be unnecessary or not usually necessary to be done.

Headlight and apply-brake (in automatic transmisson) symbols in car dashboards are examples for this.

You better inform user about something like, "120 tasks are added.". More than saying it succeed, this may give idea about the significance of that particular update.

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No data presumably means the scheduled operation has run, so that limits the icons which are relevant.

If it's not OK that nothing happened — that is, it's failed — then the yellow exclamation mark is the icon to use.

Yellow triangle with exclamation mark - Scheduled Operation Failed

If it is OK that nothing happened, then the green tick is the icon to use.

Green circle with tick - Nothing went wrong

If the scheduled operation did not run, but did not miss its schedule (that is, the scheduled time was reached but it was prevented from running because there was nothing to do and no point in running), then you could use a green circle + tick because the job completed normally with nothing wrong, or a green circle with a different symbol (like a white ring) because nothing is wrong and nothing needed doing.

What the base colour is will depend on the purpose of the chart. If it's important to see a sea of green, then that's what should signify "No error".

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I would use a simple circle (stroke only, not filled). Also perhaps change the ellipsis in "Waiting to Start" () to an hourglass or the hands of a watch to indicate time.

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