When you first turn on your computer or cell phone (mobile phone), what do you see on the screen? In most cases, you see pictures, not words. Most computers and cell phone screens show pictures, or icons. Icons are small, simple images. They are used as shortcuts to computer files and programs. Icons look different for each program or type of file that we use. Popular programs have similar icons. The icons may look a little different, but are used for the same thing. An example of this is Internet Explorer.
1. Study the icons in the box above. What do you think each icon is used for? Use the words below to help you decide. Work with a partner if you have one.
2. Which icons do you use most, on your phone or computer?
4. What are some problems caused by using icons instead of words?