Why are UX & UI people so obsessed with naming components and icons after food?

I’ve been asking myself this question since last year and finally decided to write about it. I thank Pablo Stanley’s post — it was the last nail on this coffin, his doodles are freaking hilarious.

In my search for answers — I didn’t find any particular reasoning as to why this happens…but every so often, there we have it, either a new icon or component named after some sort of food or food-related object. Well, here’s that list that no one asked for 😉.

THE LIST

Name:
Bento Box (aka Grid items, aka Apps, aka Gallery, aka Waffles, aka Pepperonis, aka Box of chocolates)

Usage:
Represents a menu with grid items
Access existing apps
There is an array of options (grid format)
Can also be found in Asian restaurants
Used as a grid template to decorate your home with a bunch of frames

Name:
Fries (aka Breadsticks)

Usage:
When you’re fresh out of hamburger menus
For dippin’ in mayo-ketchup

Name:
Breadcrumbs (aka Breadcrumb trail)

Usage:
Trail of links to help users figure out where they are
Found in Hansel & Gretel’s stories

Name:
Chips

Usage:
Represent an input, attribute, or action
Likely a single leftover breadstick from your Olive Garden dinner

Name:
Döner (aka Filter, aka Sort order, aka Cake cone)

Usage:
Another variation of the hamburger menu
A group of filters
As flower pot
Potentially hold your Kebab balls

Name:
Menu (aka List, aka, Menu, aka Hamburger, aka Pancakes)

Usage:
Represent a list menu.
Likely containing a group of navigation links
Can also be vegetarian or vegan burger

Name:
Alt-burger (alt. Grilled cheese)

Usage:
Because you’re trying to be “minimal”
When you’re all out meats and only have cheese

Name:
Options (aka Kebab, aka Overflow, aka More vert, aka Triple scoop)

Usage:
Represents a set of grouped options
Likely found on a skewer

Name:
Lists (aka Deconstructed Spaghetti and Meatballs)

Usage:
Inside a menu to create a list structure of some sort
Icon for bullet point list
In a hipster restaurant where every dish is “deconstructed”

Name:
More (aka More horiz, aka Meatballs, aka Donut holes)

Usage:
Yet another member of the menu family (yay)
Likely found next to some sphagetti

Name:
Snackbar

Usage:
To provide brief messages about app processes
Where snacks are at

Name:
Spaghetti (aka Bacon, aka Bacon Burger, aka Hair)

Usage:
Icon for “air”
Icon for “water”
Icon for many natury stuff

Name:
Search (aka Skillet, aka Lolipop, aka Magnifying glass, aka Nancy Drew’s weapon of choice)

Usage:
Commonly represented in an input field
Also used to cook all of the above foods!

SEE THEM IN ACTION

I hope you enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek article. Let me know, did I miss any? I never thought this profession would make me so hungry all👏the👏time.

I made all of my sketches using Invision Freehand. I thought it was a pretty slick and cool online whiteboard.

UX Designer