Author Topic: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?  (Read 4081 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online xrunner

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4784
  • Country: us
  • hp>Agilent>Keysight>?
Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« on: April 16, 2017, 01:28:59 am »
So I'm sitting here watching a baseball game with my cat on my lap, and doing some ham radio digital mode called JT65 ...

I'm using a nice little text program called Notepad ++ to save and edit some logging files, and I guess I realized that - huh - we are still using the symbol for what appears to be a 3.5" floppy for the file save icon.

I checked, and it's also used for several other programs like Open Office, and also the snipping tool in Win 10. Who knows what else.

Aren't there a fair amount of younger people that wouldn't have a clue what that icon means these days?  ???
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Offline Rerouter

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4621
  • Country: au
  • Question Everything... Except This Statement
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2017, 01:38:06 am »
Kicad uses what i would call one of the few suitable alternatives. but things are harder when you need a clear idea of its function in a 16x16 icon
 

Online xrunner

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4784
  • Country: us
  • hp>Agilent>Keysight>?
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2017, 02:01:49 am »
Kicad uses what i would call one of the few suitable alternatives. but things are harder when you need a clear idea of its function in a 16x16 icon

Ya that's not a bad one.

Arrow pointing into a box - save.

Arrow pointing out of a box - open.

I think the 3.5 floppy icon must have been the go-to design when we went to graphical user interfaces because of course it was ubiquitous at the time, and it simply stuck around to this day. I bet there are quite a few people that know what function initiates after learning a new program, but they have no idea what it actually represents.
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Offline shteii01

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 266
  • Country: us
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2017, 04:03:56 am »
I pulled up the wiki, Notepad++ goes back to 2003.  Which was still floppy days, barely.  I think that is how it got into the program, just followed all the other text editors of the time, which came out of 1990s and used floppies and floppy icons.
 

Online xrunner

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4784
  • Country: us
  • hp>Agilent>Keysight>?
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2017, 04:07:45 am »
I actually have one 3.5" floppy drive, but it's USB. I only wanted to get it because I have an Agilent E4411B spectrum analyzer that has a floppy drive built in. I wanted to play with it's native file saving feature to xfer to my PC, so I got the drive for my PC to view its screen shots.

The funny thing was, when I got the USB floppy drive delivered, I said cool ... oh wait a second ... I don't even have any 3.5" floppies to use in it! I had to ask some friends if anyone had one I could play with. Fortunately - someone did.
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Offline rs20

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2188
  • Country: au
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2017, 04:18:50 am »
Spoken language is full of remnants of history, not to mention outright mistakes -- I see no reason for visual iconography to be any different. Seems to me like having a consistent floppy disk save icon across all programs is maximally consistent and easy to subconsciously understand, and the fact that curious young minds might inquire and learn about the history of storage is only another added benefit.

Meanwhile, I have to think for 1.5 seconds to understand the KiCad logo, or anything other than a floppy disk, which I just subconsciously recognise.

TLDR; There is such a thing as being too inflexible and never changing anything; but then there's also such a thing as just making unnecessary changes that actually make things worse.

 
The following users thanked this post: xrunner, tooki, Kilrah

Offline jeroen79

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 516
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2017, 07:09:03 am »
So they actually developed a storage medium to look exactly like the Save icon?
Interesting...
 

Online Zero999

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14199
  • Country: gb
  • 0999
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2017, 09:55:57 am »
TLDR; There is such a thing as being too inflexible and never changing anything; but then there's also such a thing as just making unnecessary changes that actually make things worse.
And Microsoft seem to be experts at the latter: making unnecessary changes that make things worse!

I wonder, does the latest version of MS Office use the old save icon?
 

Online PA0PBZ

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4343
  • Country: nl
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2017, 10:07:14 am »
I wonder, does the latest version of MS Office use the old save icon?

Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 

Online steve30

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 680
  • Country: england
    • Stephen Coates' Homepage
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2017, 10:56:06 am »
I always tend to think of 'Save' when I see a floppy disk icon, though that's probably aided by the fact that I grew up with floppy disks. I'm sure I've used software with other save icons though.

Unfortunately my main PC doesn't have a floppy drive at the moment. I took it out to use in another machine and now there is a big hole in the front of my case.
 

Offline igendel

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 302
  • Country: il
    • It's Every Bit For Itself (Programming & MCU blog)
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2017, 11:09:14 am »
If you think about it, the diskette icon is not only outdated, it's also not self-explanatory (there were hard drives to save files long before the diskettes were gone, and anyway it doesn't say which way the data goes - the same icon could mean "load").

And still it's better than some of the "minimalist" UI design decisions today. What on earth are three horizontal lines? Why does a gear stand for "settings" - if you want to change the settings of a machine you normally don't touch its gears, right?
Maker projects, tutorials etc. on my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/idogendel/
 

Offline NottheDan

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 276
  • Country: gb
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2017, 12:01:09 pm »
And still it's better than some of the "minimalist" UI design decisions today. What on earth are three horizontal lines? Why does a gear stand for "settings" - if you want to change the settings of a machine you normally don't touch its gears, right?
When you change the internals of a machine you open it up and see the gears inside, fiddling with stuff not accessible from the front panel. That's what the gear icon symbolises.
 
The following users thanked this post: Kilrah

Online xrunner

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4784
  • Country: us
  • hp>Agilent>Keysight>?
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2017, 12:17:37 pm »
Even if we stick with floppy icons - let's be consistent.

Here we see in Open Office a floppy icon for "save", but a file folder icon for "open".  :o

Should use a file folder for both save and load - with opposite arrows, or you can use the floppy icon with arrows instead.
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Offline CatalinaWOW

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3599
  • Country: us
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2017, 12:55:58 pm »
Many programs other than Office use the floppy disk icon.  In the drop down menus it is accompanied by the action in whatever language the program works uses (English where I live).  Easy enough training for what the icon means, and necessary in general.  I find a great many icons puzzling.  I am sure the authors/artists are proud of their icons and feel that they communicate universally, but many don't work for me and for many others.

I wouldn't obsess about perfecting icons, just use the built in training and carry on.
 

Online steve30

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 680
  • Country: england
    • Stephen Coates' Homepage
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2017, 01:36:40 pm »
I just checked, and my File menu in Firefox has a floppy disk with a pencil for 'Save Page As'. Not sure whether that is part of Firefox though or whether its part of my current GTK theme.
 

Offline bktemp

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1623
  • Country: de
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2017, 01:59:30 pm »
Even if we stick with floppy icons - let's be consistent.

Here we see in Open Office a floppy icon for "save", but a file folder icon for "open".  :o

Should use a file folder for both save and load - with opposite arrows, or you can use the floppy icon with arrows instead.
Using the same icon for both save and load with only a small arrow in different directions makes it difficult to see the difference.
The folder icon has different colours and different shape than the floppy icon, so you can clearly recognize both ones, even without seeing any details.
 
The following users thanked this post: Someone

Offline frozenfrogz

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 924
  • Country: de
  • Having fun with Arduino and Raspberry Pi
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2017, 02:45:56 pm »
This is an ever ongoing discussion in the field of interface design ever since floppy disks became obsolete. Skeuomorphism is both receiving a lot of love and hate if you ask different designers. One of the problems is, that no one came up with a truly universal icon for saving and loading a file, so the ancient floppy disk has made it through the eras. Back in the day everyone was familiar with floppies and thus immediately could understand the icon. Today it is a relic that lost its roots in the physical world (ask a 12 year old what the symbol actually is), but maintained its meaning because of a learned pattern.
There are tons of articles, discussions, talks and what not regarding flat design vs. skeuomorph design and all their pros and cons.
One way of dealing with the lack of proper sign language for saving and loading that I can see in many programs is just getting rid of the icon and leaving only ctrl+s / cmd+s in place together with the save command in a drop down menu. My guess is, that a lot of developers would stop using the floppy icon if there was a well recognized substitute. Until then, the floppy will survive as a relic.
He’s like a trained ape. Without the training.
 

Offline igendel

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 302
  • Country: il
    • It's Every Bit For Itself (Programming & MCU blog)
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2017, 07:10:37 pm »
When you change the internals of a machine you open it up and see the gears inside, fiddling with stuff not accessible from the front panel. That's what the gear icon symbolises.

I an familiar with this reasoning, but it's still convoluted. You're not really seeing or doing anything with the internals of the system - not in Windows anyway!  ;)
I remember seeing a wrench icon for "settings" somewhere, but I can't decide if it's better or worse than a gear, since the real-world wrench is for fixing things, constructing or taking them apart...
Maker projects, tutorials etc. on my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/idogendel/
 

Offline Howardlong

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4843
  • Country: gb
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2017, 07:23:28 pm »
File->Save, Alt-F+S, and Ctrl-S, what ever was wrong with those? Sure, it needs internationalisation, but that is a simple programmer job. Largely meaningless icons waste inordinate amount of end user time as we have to aimlessly hunt and peck functionality.
 

Online Zero999

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 14199
  • Country: gb
  • 0999
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2017, 08:00:31 pm »
File->Save, Alt-F+S, and Ctrl-S, what ever was wrong with those? Sure, it needs internationalisation, but that is a simple programmer job. Largely meaningless icons waste inordinate amount of end user time as we have to aimlessly hunt and peck functionality.
It isn't always convenient to use the keyboard, especially in a drawing/painting program.
 

Offline Nusa

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1809
  • Country: us
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2017, 08:39:04 pm »
File->Save, Alt-F+S, and Ctrl-S, what ever was wrong with those? Sure, it needs internationalisation, but that is a simple programmer job. Largely meaningless icons waste inordinate amount of end user time as we have to aimlessly hunt and peck functionality.
It isn't always convenient to use the keyboard, especially in a drawing/painting program.
The flip side of that is that people who don't learn to use keyboard shortcuts are noticeably slower, especially in CAD programs. Being able to keep your primary cursor on the work, rather than also using it for frequent menu selections, is part of the learning curve towards expertise.
 

Online xrunner

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4784
  • Country: us
  • hp>Agilent>Keysight>?
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2017, 12:12:41 am »
Google "save icon" and this is what it serves up first :P
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Online blueskull

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 13766
  • Country: cn
  • Power Electronics Guy
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2017, 01:41:48 am »
I'm okay with floppy icon, after all most programmers working on projects are born before Y2K, so using choosing floppy as an icon makes sense for them.
It is also kinda preserving computing history. Otherwise the next generation will forget the existence of floppy forever.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2465
  • Country: ca
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2017, 01:43:36 am »
Honestly I hate when a program uses a different icon, it throws me off as I need to look for it. Libre Office has oddball icons and I always have to hover over each one to find the one I want.

The floppy icon has been so embedded in our minds as being for saving I feel it should just stay that way.  But maybe I'm old school.
 
The following users thanked this post: rs20, blueskull

Offline richard.cs

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 805
  • Country: gb
  • Electronics engineer from Southampton, UK.
    • Random stuff I've built (mostly non-electronic and fairly dated).
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2017, 08:41:28 am »
I grew up in the floppy disc era, but it was still quite a long time before I realised that the "save icon" was supposed to look like a floppy. Still, I'd agree with the others that sticking to something familiar is to be preferred over creating some other symbol that doesn't make a lot of sense either. I have seen save icons with an arrow to a mechanical hard drive (slowly disappearing) and just an arrow to a grey box, I don't really see that they're better.

Also, I don't think anyone has posted this yet:
 

Offline Halcyon

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3969
  • Country: au
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2017, 08:57:04 am »
I think kids these days will have no problems understanding what a floppy disk is even if they haven't used one. Same with VHS. We're not talking about ancient history. I grew up with the compact disc, but I still knew what a vinyl record was. I think the floppy disk icon is here to stay, at least for the next 20-30 years.
 

Offline NottheDan

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 276
  • Country: gb
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2017, 11:10:41 am »
I think kids these days will have no problems understanding what a floppy disk is even if they haven't used one.
I think you are wrong. There is a good chance kids these days will never even have encountered a floppy.

For illustration purposes:
 

Online xrunner

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4784
  • Country: us
  • hp>Agilent>Keysight>?
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2017, 12:05:58 pm »
Next time I go visit my niece and nephew I'll take a 3.5 floppy over and ask them if they know what it is.
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Offline mc172

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 318
  • Country: gb
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2017, 01:04:54 pm »
Kicad uses what i would call one of the few suitable alternatives. but things are harder when you need a clear idea of its function in a 16x16 icon

That looks like "download" to me.
 

Online Gyro

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5622
  • Country: gb
Re: Outdated File Save Icon in 2017?
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2017, 02:00:26 pm »
I can't see an image of a BGA on an SSD ever achieving the same lasting appeal.  :(
Chris

"Victor Meldrew, the Crimson Avenger!"
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf