Autodesk have spent a lot of work on the icons and there is now with this years releases more than ever a common look among their applications.
Four goals that were used during the design:
- Be Easy on the Eyes – Many users uses Autodesk applications a lot during a day.
- Icons Will Not Overpower the Canvas – The actual drawing should be the focus of the user, not fancy looking icons.
- Simplicity is Better – This reduces the amount of overall screen noise.
- Have a Distinctive Style – this means that there is a common theme on the icons.
This describes the basic elements of Autodesk’s icons. There is a Main Body and sometimes an Accent spot color or overlay color as well as a Badge.
Here is the Parametric Tab in AutoCAD 2010.
If you are an ADN (Autodesk Developer Network) member you can access the Autodesk Icon Guidelines for more information on how to create icons the way Autodesk does.
For non ADN member I suggest studying the icons in your Autodesk application and try to mimic the look and feel unless you really want to do it with your own unique style.
For users of Autodesk applications you might appreciate and understand why there has been changes to the icons you might be used to.
See also The Revit 2010 Ribbon - Designing the User Experience on YouTube. Specifically from 3:14. I also suggest you subscribe to the new Inside the Factory blog that is about designing the Revit user experience.
PS. Posted with Autodesk’s permission as the Autodesk Icon Guidelines otherwise is only for ADN members.