Dear fellow designers,

I got a client who wants me to design a wholesale website. I've designed a mega menu for his categories but now he wants me to make icons for every category (53). The question actually is... 53 icons only makes it more difficult to overview the menu right?

I tried to explain it first but he wants to see it first and I don't want to waste any more time on icons what doesn't get used anyway.

Does anyone have an nice example of a lot of categories in a mega menu form?


  • 2
    A quick option would be to just use an existing icon set like Font Awesome. Even if the icons don't really match the content (e.g. a bike icon for a "Pants" category), it's just a placeholder and the client will have a better sense of what it would look like with that many icons. Personally, that sounds like a lot of visual information and clutter. The only time I've ever seen that many icons is on an OS "Start" menu... and it was at least grouped into higher-level categories. Commented Sep 23, 2016 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


I assume your client wants his 53 categories grouped? If not, he should. 53 choices is WAY too many for a user to find what he needs.

If, for example, it's about a clothing website, I would suggest icons (+text) for the groups, and text for the categories.

[ICON] Dresses

  • Bodycon
  • Wrap
  • Tshirt
  • Long
  • Short
  • Pencil
  • Summer
  • Beach
  • Office

Also, if your client wants to see an example of the icons first and he pays for your time, and you explained this is going to cost a lot of time, then what's the problem? If he agrees to pay for things he might not use then that's his risk.

If you want to show him what works and what doesn't, search for some case studies. More often then not in cases like this, limiting a user's options only improves the conversion rate. You want to guide the user into buying your product, not let hem get lost in your maze of icons.


It all depends on the implementation. 53 icons for a navigation system certainly sounds like a lot, and most likely is overkill but it could work.

If the client wants to see something before making a decision you can use some existing icons as placeholders. You don't really need 53 distinct icons to give an idea of how it will look, and you don't necessarily need to design the icons. Find an existing icon set with a similar weight and look to the icons you currently have (or are planning) and use those.

  • The only caveat I would add to this is to make the placeholders VERY. OBVIOUSLY. placeholders, like the same bike for all 53. Because if you try even a little bit to match icon and content, the client will say "Yep, that works!" even if it's a bike for the Pants category. Don't show the client something he can't have. Commented Sep 24, 2016 at 11:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.