RT @AnubhavSharma: Why is ‘save’ icon still a floppy? <— This question recently on my Twitter timeline prompted me to dig out from our archives this old article by Sunil Malhotra for IT Magz back in 2007, titled ‘The Original Sin‘.
The article had also mentioned the same issue and I post excerpts from it here –
Continuous and aggressive improvement is not as easy as it sounds. There are aspects that we technophiles must make ourselves additionally accountable for. Things that go so far unnoticed that they become absurdities. Here’s a simple provocation:
Who in today’s world would even know what a floppy disk is! The “Save” icon has lost its context but Microsoft does not seem to have even noticed its extinction. This illustrates how oversight or short-sight can create habits; even users stop noticing things that were meant to help them in the first place. The suggestion that emerges from the above example is to design interfaces that communicate at higher levels of abstraction so that their meaning is not lost when products of everyday use become obsolete. To think things through instead of either immediately imitating “œfamiliarity” or rushing into applying our existing skills. Imagine having the graphic of a dinosaur as a signage for a wildlife sanctuary in today’s world.
I can only suggest that we, the IT community, take a higher degree of responsibility for the total software experience – simply, that from our current focus on functionality and performance we must move up a notch into sustained usability.
Definitely something to think about. I love the term ‘Sustained Usability’ used here. Something you don’t get to hear of much, especially not from Experience Designers.
You can view the PDF of the entire article from here or access it from the IT Magz website.