Symbols of the Past

I just realized that I don’t remember the last time I used a floppy disc to store data. Yet the universal symbol of Save file is a 3.5 inch floppy.
Soon we will face the next generation of Computer Users who would use this symbol, but would wonder what it means.

Just look around you. You can find so many expressions and symbols that don’t have any bearing with what they signify. Yet we use them. Should like language these symbols, and expressions also be updated? Or should we keep our fingers crossed and hope that one day they would just fade away?

4 replies on “Symbols of the Past”

We should not change anything in the user interface unless there are clear advantages. Many times, changing user interface in the most used application can cause a disaster. Eventhough I don’t see significant differences in Windows XP from Windows 95 as an end user, still I use it. But, I hate Vista, because they have changed the entire UI, and most of the things are not intuitive for those whose used previous versions of Windows. If they change all those symbols, it may cause another disaster.

I agree people don’t want to read manuals or retrain themselves.
in a good UI people will find things that they need where they logically expect it to be. both Vista and Office 2007 fiddled with it and made a mess out of the system

very true i installed office 2007 and i hate it so much still i m unable to figure out where us save as option i m using f12 shortcut key from office 2003. 🙁

I’m a bit sentimental about things like this. Sometimes, a symbol or icon being updated is appropriate, but not that one (the floppy disc) and not other big basic historic ones like it. They are the archeology, the etymology, of our visual language. I think it’s not only important but kinda cool that they maintain their place in front of our eyeballs. I think it would be fun for up and comers to discover the origin, just like it can be fun for us to discover the archaic origin of a word we use from day to day. 🙂

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