Every time I lookup the section Hot Network Questions, I must hover my mouse on some questions to show where the link leads because the icon makes it not immediately apparent what that site is.
I am no designer, but it feels like the icons could easily be made more meaningful.
For instance, look at the icons below:
- stats: it's so abstract it could mean anything
- tex: why not just use TeX?
- bitcoin: this is the Stack Exchange "generic" icon, there are lots of them and they surely could be improved
- chemistry: not that bad, but why not just use a vial?
- math: this one is really misleading because it looks like a gear
- gaming: not the worst once accustomed to it, but the generally recognized symbol is the controller
- chess: again, recognizable but why not just use the knight?
- emacs: Emacs has a logo, why not use it?
- diy: looks more like gaming than DIY
- music: I am not even able to guess what it's supposed to represent. Why not just use a musical note?
- puzzling: seems to be a random abstract symbol whereas a piece of the puzzle could do
- money: this one however is good. I immediately recognize the piggy bank
It seems like the icons do not make use of the generally accepted symbols for different fields. I feel like at least half of the icons can be misinterpreted. Are there plans for improving those?
Note that I am European, the perceptions of those icons could differ in different regions.