The Share Icon

I have been working on a couple of mobile projects on different platforms that deal with sharing content with social networks.  Unfortunately every platform has a different icon and there are two standard ones that are used on the web.  Here is a list of all the icons I feel are standard out there both on the web and on mobile platforms

Platform Icon Description
Web Share_ShareIconProject Share Icon Project which seems to be the one most everyone uses.  I’m sure most are already familiar with this icon and is pretty standard.
Web Share1 Share icon which was created by Shareaholic which is called the Open Share Icon.  I was not very familiar with this icon until I noticed it on Windows 8.image_thumb107
iPhone Share_ShareIconProject On the iOS platform (iPhone and iPad) seems developers have gravitated towards the Share Icon Project icon.
Android AndroidShare_ShareIconProject On Android, seems there is a mix of icons used and uses both the Share Icon Project icon and it’s own icon with a ‘circle with two arrows pointing up’. 
Windows Phone appbar.share.rest_thumb[2] On Windows Phone, well they don’t use any of the ‘standard’ icons and went their own way also.  This never really made sense to me as to why they did this but it is what it is.


So what is a developer to do?

Well here is my advice, use whatever is standard on the platform, that is what most users will be familiar with and comfortable using.  I think you want to keep users comfortable with your application and not deviate from the norm on the platform.  You want to keep that user experience consistent and make your application feel as though it’s a part of the platform and not something that has just been shoved into the platform from a port.

What do you think?  Agree? Disagree? Let me know! Feel free to contact me here or via twitter @MarkArteaga!

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