Saving icons

After having a look at the new user interface for Microsoft Office, I was wondering how I would update the icon on the ‘Save’ button.

Word 2008 - top left corner of document window

Apple launched their first Mac that didn’t have a floppy disc drive nine years ago. I wonder if the people who have come to use computers since then recognise what this ‘Save’ icon represents.

Even if you do recognise it, why does a picture of a floppy disc represent the ‘Save’ action? This picture should mean ‘Show me what is on my floppy disc.’ ‘Save’ is short for ‘Commit the current version of the document to a place where I can recover it from should I need to.’

We need a new representation of the places that we keep our information. In a few years time we won’t care about the physical location – those details will be someone else’s job to look after. I suppose an illustration of memory or time would do for that. We need a good writer to come up with a concept that can be illustrated with a few pixels on a toolbar button.

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