13 months ago the community decided to put an end to “Icon for X” questions. This was a good call then, but I feel the need to bring the subject up for revision again, it's been 13 months and all. I think no one answered the question better than Ben Brocka when he said the following:
I think this policy has gotten too far out of hand; any question asked in regards to an icon or visual metaphor is closed.
Asking what can represent a common action or concept is a perfectly valid question and is not too localized.
Questions that ask for specific icons or icons that fit their visual theme are probably too localized. The problem with this policy is those questions were always too localized, we didn't need extra policies to determine this.
Adding a defacto ban on "icon" questions just means anything with the word "icon" in the title is likely to be closed without regard to how localized the question actually is.
Good metaphors absolutely are a vital part of the user experience. By pretending metaphors are too localized in all context (they're not, that's why they're metaphors) we're harming the usefulness of the site.
Instead of closing "icon for X" questions we should consider editing them to make sure they're asking about what metaphors apply that could be used to pick an icon; this way we can help by explaining what metaphors may work or why iconic metaphors won't work in a situation.
Just because an asker thinks "icon" doesn't mean they're not really looking for a metaphor. If they're looking for a metaphor we can help them and it's not a specific icon request.
I think we can edit and reopen icon questions, if we call them visual metaphores instead. The reason for this is that a visual metaphor is not an icon - just a design scope coming from an idea of how to abstractly represent something. These questions have a value to the community, and I think we would gain traffic if we allowed visual metaphors to our content source.
So my suggestion is to revise questions like:
Think beyond icon and think visual metaphor on these questions instead - and what do we have then? In my opinion - something very useful and on topic.