I am on a development team that is building an enterprise intranet application with several different user groups giving different kinds of support. The application displays attributes in key-value pairs all over.
Some users do not have access to all the attributes and instead of a value they are shown a padlock with a tooltip that say they do not have access. They have been used to this pattern for several years.
Now we are implementing a system where our users working in support, can identify the person that is calling them through a de facto standard authentication system in our country. The user will initiate the authentication by:
- Click an icon (or the callers name) on the screen to get a pop-up
- Click "Authenticate" in the pop-up
Now, we are having a really hard time to figure out an icon to display next to the callers name. We need an icon rather then text due to space-limitations. I have suggested an anynomous "persona" icon with head & chest or a padlock styled as a application-style button. I also tried with a red/green little "light-circle".
None of these suggestions have been accepted with the motivation:
- Padlock already has an established use-case where the user is prohibited from seing some content
- The "persona" icon makes the users think of Skype and the caller being "online" rather then "identified".
- The little "light" looked too much like Skype online/offline, not "identified".
I see both points and they are valid imho. I cannot come up with any other way to present this 16x16px icon. Nor do I have any arguments to motivate my suggestions other they "other applications use them and the context should make it ok".
- Is it ok to use same icon for slightly different meaning?
- Do you have other suggestions on how to communicate "this is where to click to start the authentication process"?
- Would you agree on any of my proposals (given the small amount of information here)?