保存圖標,軟盤圖標沒電了嗎?


255

Twitter post引發了我一個問題:

totally! RT @damienguard: Dear UI designers everywhere. Stop using floppy disk icons for save. Too many people have no idea what it is now.

Floppy Disk Save Icon

那麼,軟盤圖標已過時嗎?應該用更現代的東西代替嗎?如果可以,怎麼辦?

88

This question gets brought up every so often. I've found two separate threads (several years apart) on the IxDA list:

http://www.ixda.org/node/19443

http://www.ixda.org/node/23688

I thought it was discussed on UXExchange as well, but I couldn't find it.

In my opinion (and it seems to be the general consensus), the icon is ubiquitous with saving. Changing it would cause more problems than it would solve. Think of it this way - can YOU think of anything to replace it with that would be more universally understood? There really isn't anything.

The same thing holds true for the "phone" icons used on cell phones and even Skype, or (eventually) the envelope icon for email. When was the last time you saw a phone that actually looked like the old, standard handset that is almost always used as the phone icon? I doubt most kids would even know what that icon was if it wasn't the button to talk on their cell phones. Yet, it is still widely known and probably will not be going away.


462

The floppy disk icon is an idiom, not a metaphor. It doesn't matter that we're no longer writing files on 1.44MB 3.5" disks. It doesn't matter that many users don't even know what a floppy disk is. What matters is that users associate the icon with saving.


0

Last week, I was confronted with exactly this question; I decided against the floppy icon and used a arrow pointing to a harddisk instead, similar to this one:

hard disk save icon


32

This is also discussed on Graphic Design where there are some good (and some bad) proposals for alternative save icons:

New generation of Save icon that is not a “disk”?

Many icons represented how things looked like in the old days, and the looks of things (generally) were more consistent before. Now all things have modern designs, and does not necessary have a uniform look. So symbolic icons are better off kept the same as they have been commonly accepted to represent. Although newer generations does not know what a floppy disk is, they DO know that the symbol means "Save"!

The folder icon Folder is also commonly used, but it took a while before I realized what it looked like! A reason for this might of course be that in the beginning (when I first experienced it) it was a much simpler version of it: Old style folder
I learned that it was the icon for a directory long before i realized that it looked like an archive folder.


27

The GNOME desktop on Linux/Unix moved away from the floppy disk icon quite a while ago, and nobody seemed to mind... you can see what they use instead in this screenshot from 2008 (on the "Apri" and "Salva" icons):
Screenshot, showing a green arrow pointing down into a representation of an IDE hard-drive as the idiom for 'Save'


3

I use the save to folder and load from folder icons instead (a file folder with arrow going in or out).

Even on my old XT I had a small harddrive which I usually used for saving on.


2

I believe we should not stop using floppy icon for save. As its widely accepted and there isnt a alternate design known. The only modification i can think of is introducing the small tooltip text for those who do not understand what floppy or any of the old icons represent.


1

Ask anyone under 18 what a floppy disk is. Even the name floppy disk is a legacy from when they were actually floppy. Yes, it's still understood to mean save, but that's like saying "tape it" when using your DVR or calling iTunes the record store. Soon even the file folder will be outmoded.

The down arrow into a box does look like download, because it points down. Into a load? But as for a new save, is there a newer metaphor? Maybe the red dot on a video camera or a safe. Ziploc? Maybe it's check-in and should be a check. Something like the Apple time machine logo?


11

Because the floppy disk icon is so widely used, it does not really make sense to change it. Specially with something like a hard disk. Why should we replace a well known icon (even the users under 18 associate the floppy disk with saving even if they don't know what it is). Especially using a hard disk, which comes into ages right now, instead. Remember that we move into the cloud era. Arrows pointing down to disk or folders are more known for downloading or importing.


3

The floppy disk icon seems neither dead nor alive, but somewhere in between on its way out. A lot of users won't recognize it as Save, though those with a lot of experience using more traditional apps like MS Office or enterprise-ware will likely be very familiar with it. If in doubt, test with your audience.


1

I see more and more the "upload into the cloud" button in stead of a floppy. I believe this will eventually replace the floppy.


6

Yes. Although the floppy icon is still understood it's at it's end-of-life. A replacement is required that's more relevant to today's user and today's context. To a user "save" means "save my new work to the file". The file itself can be floppy, hard disk, usb or the cloud). This has bugged me so I just made some quick mockups put below. I like the one on the left the most; makes it feel like "stuff goes into the file".

Samples

Credits: This derivative work is GPL'd, so use/abuse as you wish. I used pulled the green arrow (also GPL'd) from http://www.iconarchive.com/show/snowish-icons-by-saki/Arrow-right-icon.html. If you want the PSD or something, message me.


5

Imho Safe is the best fresh idea for new Save icon:

safe

Words "save" and "safe" even sound similar :)

Permalink;

enter image description here


1

When you click the save button you can save your file to your hard drive, a USB stick, an SD card, anything. It seems pointless having a picture of an arrow going toward a specific storage device, especially as anyone who knows nothing about computers will see a hard drive icon as nothing more than a grey square. The point is, you want your file to be remembered, so why not have an image of something relating to memory, e.g. a brain? (Also, I'm 15 and I know what a floppy disk is, just saying)


9

Just to back some of the previous answers with an excerpt from one of my favorite UX books "The Design of Everyday Things", in chapter 7:

7. When all else fails, standardize.

When something can't be designed without arbitrary mappings and difficulties, there is one last route: standardize. Standardize the actions, outcomes, layout, displays. Make related actions work in the same way. Standardize the system, the problem; create an international standard.

Remember, standardization is essential only when all the necessary information cannot be placed in the world or when natural mappings cannot be exploited.


0

The artifact represented by the icon (the 3.5" diskette) is well past its sell by date or even recognition (some usability studies I've been in have users referring to it as the washing machine or dishwasher icon..;), however the metaphor of what it represents - saving data - persists. Plenty of other examples abound (financial apps using checkbooks for reconciliation, the iPhone using the old-style Larry King-type microphone for recording), and so on.

I would suggest the icon is fine for most users who want to explicitly save content - the context of use is clear and metaphor is strong.

A straw poll on whether replacing it with cloud or pendrive icon option is here: http://polarb.com/9772 YMMV with such a crowdsourced poll. Ultimately, I think the question reminds us never to assume anything with users, but to test it in realistic contexts and design and deploy accordingly. In these days of automatic saves, backups, influence of implicit save models on mobile device and how user expectations are changing, that testing best practice comes to the fore now even more.


2

New "save" icon could be just letter "S". Everybody knows that "Ctrl+S" means "Save".

save icon

Or "Save" icon could be just "Cloud" icon.

cloud save icon


2

In my apps I'm using a couple of different icons. Most of my apps persist to a database, so I use a "transitional" icon, with the floppy in front of a set of "database disks" somewhat like this:

http://www.artistsvalley.com/images/icons/Database%20Application%20Icons/Database%20Save/256x256/Database%20Save.jpg

Cylinders are known from flow-chart land as data stores, but with flow-charting being a relatively technical thing in the first place, this isn't ideal as an intuitive icon either. Someone might think this looks like a water cooler tank.

For another app, I just use a green checkmark, and the command is to "Commit Changes" instead of "Save". Everything is just data in the DB, no files, and icons for DBs as we discussed are not very intuitive.

In all cases in my apps, the icon does not stand alone; there's always text for the command being performed, such as "Save", "Commit Changes", "Refresh/Revert", etc, even in toolbars. The icon's just a focusing point for mouse clicks, because people are used to the idea that small pictures do something when you click them, while text is trickier to indicate as "active" (and the main things we think of, underlined blue links, have a navigational context; they take you somewhere else).

On the topic of "real-time persistence", we have an environment (a flavor of the Great Plains accounting package) that uses this system; change a field value and it goes to the data store as soon as you tab or mouse out. Our users hate it. Hate it. They not only want to choose when to save their changes, they want a confirmation dialog that it happened successfully.


1

There are a lot of statements about the Save icon being obsolete, but I don't see any proof of that. In fact, a couple of 15 year olds on this post have stated that they know what a floppy disc is.

We just completed some user testing for a web application. One of the utility icons is an icon that allows you to save a report in a PDF format to your computer. We used a "download" icon. You know, the horizontal tray with the arrow pointing down?

More than one participant said that the download icon was confusing, and specifically suggested that the standard "floppy disk" icon be used to indicate saving. Using the download icon turned out to be confusing.

As others have said, the save disc icon is widely known for saving. Changing that would potentially cause more problems than keeping it as is.


36

And, I suppose, a metal chain is intrinsically linked with hyperlinks, paper envelopes are required to send e-mails, and your browser's home page is an actual house?

Look past the pedantically literal and you'll see value in a metaphor that has survived, near-unchanged, for decades with no confusion and no ambiguity. Why change it now?!

Next you'll be proposing we don't even call it "save" any more; with auto-save, and auto-backups, what are we saving our data from, exactly?


4

For what it's worth, here's an article from Boxes and Arrows about a survey of 18- to 25-year-olds regarding exactly this issue.

In summary, the research found that 96% of respondents recognized the floppy disk, and 80% said it represented save. Other icons surveyed included voicemail, link, and search.

For those who don't want to click through, the article concludes:

Ultimately, the most important thing is to have icons that make it clear to as many people as possible what they do in the interface. It’s better to have 80% of users see the floppy disk, dig back into their memories of childhood technology and connect to this image as representing the act of saving, than have 100% of users see a downward facing arrow and wonder what it means.


5

In the myriad of applications in use today, the floppy is iconic and means one thing.

In a way its like latin in that it cannot be misunderstood, the association merely needs to be learned, like most other icons do anyway.

For those of us that use powerful and complex tools like photoshop or visual studio, think of all of the different icons.

enter image description here

Of these icons, which ones are perfectly intuitive and never required an association to be made?

The floppy is universal, it doesn't need to be replaced.


1

In order to replace the save icon with something else we need to think about what it does.

Evernote has replaced the save command with Synchronise.

Even though it will automatically synchronise, the common shortcut for save, "Ctrl + S" / "Command + S" triggers the synchronisation for ease of mind that it has actually been saved.

Evernote Synchronization


2

This topic is not worth debating I guess, this generation doesn't even know what floppy disc is or ever was... they never associate the save icon with floppy dics...but everyone knows that its' THE SAVE icon, no matter if something is written or not, with or without tooltip, everyone is familiar with the save button. Replacing it with anything would be against user experience.. And about auto save, it's an option but not feasible for everything and everywhere as it causes the hassle of undoing changes again n again..

My opinion.

Thanks


0

Some icons are born as icons (talking about semiotics) cause they were created to be similar to the object/concept represented. But, as time passes, some icons have become symbols (talking about semiotics) because they are used for convention and not anymore for analogy.

The are many other examples:

  • Envelope
  • Hourglass
  • Magnifying glass

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here


0

Floppy disk icon might be replaced on the SSD icon. enter image description here