My wife shared with me an article about color blindness and video gaming (Red vs. Green: Gaming with Colour Blindness), and one of the things the author discusses is how some games like the Grand Theft Auto series avoid sole reliance on color on their maps by also using icons.
That got me thinking about the pros and cons of icons.
In the GTA example, it’s great having recognizable icons for things like food stops, stores, car repair businesses, etcetera.
On the other hand, a good rule to follow with iconography is “less is more”. You may be solving visual and cognitive obstacles by using symbols versus potentially vague or indistinguishable colors, but new problems can be introduced if you go nuts with them.
Some things to be mindful of:
Like many things, icons can be an accessible plus, but only if used judiciously and appropriately!