Icons in an app should aim to represent the intended symbolism while having a distinct Canva personality. To ensure consistency, Canva provides guidelines to help design and prepare icon assets for use in the product.
Icons are not accessible without additional markup. Markup depends on how the icon is used, though generally it can be broken down into three categories: decorative, interactive, and indicative icons.
Decorative icons are purely cosmetic and convey no real semantic meaning — if they were removed no context would be lost — and are typically used for visual reinforcement or branding. Decorative icons are paired with text, such as in lists or inputs, which provide the context for sighted and screen reader users.
Icons have the
aria-hidden="true" attribute by default, meaning that they’re invisible to screen readers and support this use case as default.
Interactive icons do convey meaning to users. The most common example is buttons or links, which are icon only.
Indicative icons aren’t interactive, though the icon does convey meaning. This is useful for statuses or when icons are used in place of text inside a longer message.
Either way, it must be communicated by using invisible content available to screen readers or the surrounding content.