icon definition graphics
A small picture intended to represent something (a file, directory, or action) in a graphical user interface
. When an icon is clicked on, some action is performed such as opening a directory or aborting a file transfer.
Icons are usually stored as bitmap
images. Microsoft Windows
uses a special bitmap format with file name extension ".ico" as well as embedding icons in executable (".exe") and Dynamically Linked Library
The term originates from Alan Kay
's theory for designing interfaces which was primarily based on the work of Jerome Bruner. Bruner's second developmental stage, iconic, uses a system of representation that depends on visual or other sensory organization and upon the use of summarising images.
IEEE publication (http://ieee.org/organizations/history_center/cht_papers/Barnes.pdf).
[What MS tool can create .ico files?]