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@tindall not sure what the original thread was but i think the reason people use icons is simple and not particularly interesting — you can fit more icons than text into limited space (small screens etc)

@betaveros @tindall systems that use cursors can always add textual information when hovering over an icon (tooltips, etc.) once the user knows that's an option

but it seems like touchscreen systems suffer from designers and engineers who use icons for size but gave up on any mechanism to explain them
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