Suggestion: Identifying icons vs. UI library elements in Quick Add

This is minor but, it would be a useful enhancement if, when I type a word, say “text”, into Quick Add, the UI library items were more clearly distinguished from the font items.

I think, and I just discovered this while testing for this post, that the UI library items are displayed first, and the font items are displayed next? That hadn’t been obvious to me until now! (Am I the only one?) Maybe you could display results in two distinct sections?


Hey Mike, thanks for your question. You are correct—we display controls first and then icons. Since we have the thumbnail, I wonder why this is needed. What is the problem you’re trying to solve with this suggestion? Thanks!

I agree that separate sections would make it clearer. It’s awesome to be able to search for icons this way, but generally I know whether what I want is an icon or a library element, and it would be nice to have more of a visual distinction.

There are search terms that produce ambiguous results. Consider for example:

Hi Ben, sorry if I my original post wasn’t clear :slight_smile:

Let me try and outline the problem with a couple of scenarios: Even though I am a frequent user of Balsamiq, I do not have a good memory of all the controls, let alone all the icons. Often I will think, “I need some sort of text control or icon here”, so I just type “text” into the Quick Add to see what Balsamiq has to offer!

The problem here is just visual scanning – there is no easy way to see where the returned list of controls ends and the list of icons start. Yes, if I study the thumbnails carefully, I can probably tell which are icons and which are controls – but not at a glance.

But @Herb_Caudill gives a great example of another scenario – let’s say I know what I want, a chart icon. The list of results is not always ambiguous, as in Herb’s example, it is sometimes just crowded. Even when not crowded, it’s still blended (albeit in an orderly fashion). This slows down my visual processing. I want to type “chart” and BANG, there’s the pie chart icon I wanted :slight_smile:

p.s. Edit: Just to be clear again, despite my wordiness, this is a minor enhancement suggestion :slight_smile:

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:slight_smile: Thanks for clarifying. I’m definitely clearer on how it would make things clearer.

What I still am not sure of is why the distinction is important. I have some guesses, but if you have a minute to expound sometime, I’d appreciate it. :slight_smile: Thanks!

Hey @ben - I am finally following up with you on this, as I caught myself in a scenario relating to mobile vs. ui elements in the quick add and I thought, “Okay, this time I will remember to tell Ben what happened” :slight_smile:

So, I was about to make some mocks of Android screens. I wanted to start with the phone frame, so I typed iphone into the quick add, like this:

I always knew about the iPhone in the UI library, but when I saw “Mobile Phone” I thought “Hey, have they added a generic phone frame to the library? Sweet, I need that because these are Android designs.”

When I clicked “Mobile Phone” it is just an icon. Grrrrrr. I can’t use that to frame my mocks. Okay, in the scheme of all life’s problems, this is not quite at the top of the list :smile: But it makes me feel annoyed with myself when this happens – am I the only one?

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hi @MikeH,
and what if you have an Asset with the name “Phone” or a Symbol with a similar or same name? It is possible to find all the assets and symbols using the Quick Add funktion as well, not only the standard predetermined controls.
Shall there then be 2 more parts in the “search results”?

Hi @Liubi,
Yes, I use Quick Add to find symbols also – for example I use the Bootstrap symbol library, which has a large number of individual symbols. That doesn’t bother me. But I like to know if what I’m getting is an icon, I think it’s because icons have such very different properties (fixed resizing, see-through, etc.).

You could argue of course that a symbol has different properties too, but I can only tell you about what actually bothers me, and symbols in the Quick Add don’t bother me :smile: I can’t speak for anyone else.

EDIT: I’m not sure if there needs to be 2 parts to the “search results”. There are other ways you could identify if something is an icon.

Hi, @MikeH. This is something we discussed when we added the icons to quickadd in v3, but we wanted to try it a bit as it was before we made a decision to add anything more to the UI. That said, that iPhone case is definitely confusing!

I’ll add this to our list to do something about and start thinking about how we might make this more clear. Thanks for the feedback, as always!

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You can take the help of charting libraries like google free chart to create interactive charts.