Hey Guys, did you ever look at the heart icon in Airbnb app and thought what does it do?
Textual buttons are usually replaced with icons to create a minimalistic appearance on the app. Is that always helpful? that's a debatable question.
Let's find out how does Airbnb app do with and without label.
There are studies that prove, labelling icons enhances usability on desktop applications. This is why Microsoft Outlook started labelling its icons like reply, new, reply to all, Send/receive etc..
But when we are talking about mobile apps, the situation is a bit tricky - considering the crisis of space. But I believe that confusing icons such as heart/star/backward arrow should either be avoided in apps or if at all it is being used, it should have a label. And this usability test completely proves this.
"Completely" is a bit strong. The new design is more usable for the task, but it is not obvious that the label deserves full credit. Besides having a label, the button is also much more visible. The original heart icon is practically invisible against the bright lights. Simply adding the transparent black box below the icon may have similar results.