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Pawelk198604

MS Word diskette icon does is not look little obsolete?

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I'm busy making source tables to my thesis, truth be told I would prefer to play my favorite Sims 3, but the thesis will not write itself :-)

I decided to take a break, I clicked on the icon floppy disk to save the results of my work.

I do not know maybe I'm a nerd but I began to wonder why microsoft is using as the save icon symbol floppy, who the heck today uses floppy disks :D

Maybe in the new Office uses a different symbol, I have Office 2010 Home and Student

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Its the same in 2013. The only people I can think of that still use it would be the Library of Congress (since they have every form of media ever used.)

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The floppy disk icon has been around for a long time, and has become something of a defacto standard, people see that icon and know it means "save" even if they've never used a floppy disk :)

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The floppy disk icon has been around for a long time, and has become something of a defacto standard, people see that icon and know it means "save" even if they've never used a floppy disk :)

This. Legacy standards of all types have existed for almost 300 years (see: the convention for positive/negative charge, set by Ben Franklin in the 18th century, which is actually backwards, but how could he know?). The "save" floppy is just a more recent one.

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The same goes for the phone icon - most people will use smartphones and other phones that are less traditionally shaped. Yet it is a clear and simple symbol, so it will probably stick around. Maybe even be more abstracted.

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For what it's worth, a floppy disk as in the icon under discussion isn't really a floppy. Anyone that remembers the 5 1/4 inch disks knows what I'm talking about.

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For what it's worth, a floppy disk as in the icon under discussion isn't really a floppy. Anyone that remembers the 5 1/4 inch disks knows what I'm talking about.

Those are floppy's too, just in another size. Ever handled one? Then you know where the name comes from :wink: 3,5" floppy's are actually the least floppy of them all in the literal sense.

Edited by Camacha

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The Office GUI is one of the most scrutinized parts in the Microsoft line-up and it's something where nothing gets changed without extensive testing (unlike, say, the Windows start menu, but I digress. I do like Metro by the way). The fact that it hasn't changed is an indication that confusion the large group of existing users (for something extremely fundamental) is not worth the "more accurate" icon. And what should it change in? A memory card?

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For what it's worth, a floppy disk as in the icon under discussion isn't really a floppy. Anyone that remembers the 5 1/4 inch disks knows what I'm talking about.

We're not talking about the enclosure, after all we're calling it a disk, not a square. Ergo, we're talking about the carrier of the magnetic material on the inside. Which is just as floppy for a 3½″ disk as it is for a 5¼″ one.

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Name something else you could use that a) Is immediately recognizeable in a number of different styles and sizes and B) immediately calls 'save' into mind. I can't.

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Well, there could be another symbols in the future...

Guess which one is the "save" button:

gtavcelular_kotakubr01.jpg

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Basic icon science. A popular icon has the following charateristics:

-Simple. Self-Explanatory. A small, simple icon is easier to remember

-Reminds of its purpose. A floppy disc remembers almost everyone of save. The Biohazard icon inspires terror in all of us. Icons that speak for themselves are popular.

-Multi-language and multi-culture. Go to the middle east, china or europe. The traditional phone icon means phone. Smartphone probably not.

The main reason the floppy disc is used is that people just instinctivelly associate it with saving. Games or apps with other saving icons have their users roam around looking for the floppy disc. People stick to standards

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Those are floppy's too, just in another size. Ever handled one? Then you know where the name comes from :wink: 3,5" floppy's are actually the least floppy of them all in the literal sense.

Heh well I will concede if you break the casing of the 3.5" disk you do get at the floppy bit. :D

Never saw any 8" floppies in my time, but I recall getting an extremely homebrew disk drive kit for my Spectrum +2 that had roughly 2.5" disks. You could freeze the spectrum and dump the contents of memory direct to disk, which could hold 8 memory images on each disk, so roughly 384KB iirc.

Oh and then there were the Amstrad Floppies too:

Amstrad-floppy.jpg

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For what it's worth, a floppy disk as in the icon under discussion isn't really a floppy. Anyone that remembers the 5 1/4 inch disks knows what I'm talking about.

Wait...they've invented something smaller than a 5 1/4 inch floppy???? What, a polycarbonate plastic disk with a layer of aluminum read by a laser? Riiiiiiiight....please, who ya trying to kid?

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OOOOOOH!!!! I HAD THE SAME LABELS! I used them for my backup tapes. Dry-erase labels. Such a great invention.

My floppies I had simply numbered and just kept track of in a dbase file (together with a dbase script to print out my warez catalog)

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Well, there could be another symbols in the future...

Guess which one is the "save" button:

The little envelope? For "put it in a envelope to save it?"

I mean what else would the envelope be for? Not mail, that'd be obsolete :)

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The Office GUI is one of the most scrutinized parts in the Microsoft line-up and it's something where nothing gets changed without extensive testing (unlike, say, the Windows start menu, but I digress. I do like Metro by the way). The fact that it hasn't changed is an indication that confusion the large group of existing users (for something extremely fundamental) is not worth the "more accurate" icon. And what should it change in? A memory card?

And yet they keep switching up the GUI so I always have to search in which tab they put the button this time, each time a new version comes up

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And yet they keep switching up the GUI so I always have to search in which tab they put the button this time, each time a new version comes up

Now to be fair, they have to change something if they expect you to buy it each year. :D

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Basic icon science. A popular icon has the following charateristics:

-Simple. Self-Explanatory. A small, simple icon is easier to remember

***snip***

Except, in the case of the floppy disc icon, it is only self-explanatory to those who have used a floppy disc, or been taught what it means. My nephew was VERY puzzled to see a floppy disc icon for the first time, so I had to dig one out, find a PC with floppy drive for it to go in and demonstrate that it is a storage medium. Without teaching, the icon was as arbitrary as a file-folder icon (he's never seen one of those) a curved "back" arrow or many, many other icons. (Having said that, being very young he learns all these extremely quickly - but my parents, who are very old, find these things beyond them.)

I believe that most icons are to some extent arbitrary. The Desktop Paradigm was a brilliant idea for making computers accessible to those who had been in an office environment, but for those who never used filing cabinets or file folders the icons were only meaningful with tuition. Similarly the Hardware Paradigm (floppy drives, hard drives etc) was great for those exposed to hardware that is now either out of date or generally hidden inside the box. What is important is that they are eye-catching and easily distinguished: GUIs that use too many over-similar icons can be confusing to learn and annoying to use under pressure. That they are "self-explanatory" is useful initially, but almost doomed to fail as the GUI moves away from its roots.

Of course, the best GUIs are those which offer tooltips for all icons. That way the GUI can act as a reminder and to some extent teacher for those unfamiliar with the paradigm being used.

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That they are "self-explanatory" is useful initially, but almost doomed to fail as the GUI moves away from its roots.

They do not fail, as they become culturally accepted. I already gave the example of the phone icon - I think you will be hard pressed to find a teenager that has ever phoned with a rotary phone. Yet virtually every single one of them knows what buttons to press on their smartphones.

It is fine that icons grow beyond their literal sense, as long as they are easily recognizable and fairly unique. That is exactly how our alphabet grows and evolves and that seems to work out pretty decently :wink:

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Symbols don't need to have their sources readily identifiable by the user base. Pause buttons on music players are derived from the caesura (which is a pause) symbol in classical music notation, but everyone can recognize it as "pause."

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I still use 3.5" floppy discs at work.

In industry, equipment manufactured with that technology is still in regular service. It'll be some 20-40 years before they are actually replaced.

By then though I probably will have gotten fed up with the inability to get good quality drives and discs for them and replaced the drive with an emulator device to make it compatible with USB sticks- or whatever standard we've gone to by then.

Even though the technology behind that icon these days is only seen in older applications that haven't yet been obsoleted, the icon itself still has meaning and probably won't change just yet.

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Even though the technology behind that icon these days is only seen in older applications that haven't yet been obsoleted, the icon itself still has meaning and probably won't change just yet.

Why would it change? We have old and even ancient symbols in everyday use and that works fine.

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Any replacement for the save icon would have to be universally better to gain any traction with users. Remember, there are thousands upon thousands of office drones that do everything on their computers by rote, rearranging icons or an unexpected dialog box confound them. Replacing the icon with another would require retraining, or at the very least increased help desk support, which costs money.

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