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24 ways to impress your friends

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I thought Brian LePore got there first but not quite.

If you turn images off, in Firefox at least, the alt text bleeds over the message. Very visually exciting.

What is it with this icon stuff anyway? Why are people so obsessed with pretty pictures? IMHO a little red cross does sweet FA to enhance the content. If you actually take the trouble to look at the transactional example with images turned off, which one really conveys its message clearly and concisely?

All you might need to do to make it stand out more (the object of the exercise after all) is put “Error :” or “Transaction Error :” in the text, use a different, but related, font in a larger size possibly styled in a Strong or Em element to add semantic weight.

If the icon is there for people who cannot read they will not be able to understand the message anyway unless they are using a reader in which case the icon is even more superfluous.

The web needs information technologists/architects, not graphic artists.

In summary. Icons = eye candy, period.