How can I avoid icons with double meanings?

I am currently trying to make an icon that indicates a bike shop sells bike accessories. This icon will be displayed along with other icons, such as the bike types the shop sells and if the shop accepts cards or cash.

The accessories icon however is turning out to be quite troublesome. This is what I’ve tried to create and why they didn’t work:

Bike lock: is confusing because it looks like the shop might be locked/closed. Colleagues also thought it meant the shops are selling bike insurance.

Bike basket looks a lot like your average shopping basket. Because the icon is very small, adding a bike steering wheel makes the basket look unrecognisable.

Bicycle pump is used by other websites to indicate a shop offers maintenance service.

Saddle Seemed like the better option but I also need an icon that indicates the shop offers test rides on bikes, and I can’t think of anything else that would fit test rides.

Since none of these icons are often used, I’m afraid my target group (which consist mostly of adults 40+) won’t understand what they mean because they can all mean sort of the same thing.

What is a good option to avoid icons with double meanings? Would a label (maybe hovered?) improve the user experience? Or is it generally better to stick to textual things with complex categories like these?


A rule of thumb with icons is to keep it as simple as possible.

It’s important that users get the idea by the first look, not by the second and third until the ‘AHA’ moment occurs. In general, you don’t want that. Unless you are designing puzzles.

When I think of accessories for a bike, the first thing that comes to mind is the thought:

What normally isn’t on a bike by default?

Picking something that’s not that far-spread might be enough to give users the right idea.

For example a bicycle bag. Essentially something that is a little more specific, so it can’t be misinterpreted for something else commonly used in a more general way. Like the gear symbol for settings.

If you end up with a more generic symbol, why not add a text that says “Accessories” when the user hovers over the icon?

The purpose of icons is to give the user a logic overview that helps him quickly orientate, not a detailed description.

Source : Link , Question Author : Summer , Answer Author : beggarboy

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