Iconography of Security

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Congratulations, you’re locked out! The paradox of security visuals

Designers of technology are fortunate to have an established visual language at our fingertips. We try to use colors and symbols in a way that is consistent with people’s existing expectations. When a non-designer asks a designer to “make it intuitive,” what they’re really asking is, “please use elements people already know, even if the concept is new.”

Lots of options for security icons

We’re starting to see more consistency in the symbols that tech uses for privacy and security features, many of them built into robust, standardized icon sets and UI kits. To name a few: we collaborated with Adobe in 2018 to create the Vault UI Kit, which includes UI elements for security, like touch ID login and sending a secure copy of a file. Adobe has also released a UI kit for cookie banners.

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