Save to disk 18:51 on Tuesday

If you’re seventeen, I wonder if this Save Document icon means anything to you:

Save document

Think about it geeks — people getting their first jobs now may have never seen a diskette. Yet there it is, looking at us in most every application available.

While we’re waiting for the future where we don’t have to manually initiate document saving in any app, what could be a replacement for the Save to diskette icon?

And what other icons are way past their expiry date?

6 Responses to “Save to disk”


  1. Marjut Says:

    The phone icon (you know the one with an earpiece). The mobile phone icon with an antenna.

  2. PA Says:

    The Windows sand watch…

    I guess it was Saffer in Design for interaction who also made the point that save icon is obsolete. I’m not sure if he suggested anything better, though. Apple does not use save buttons in any of its (Mac OS X) programs, does it.

  3. samin Says:

    ha, nice one!

    Kind of related – Email envelope. I wonder if its context is being reversed as we speak– for the kids the paper things probably resemble an email icon.

    I almost suggested a bunch of OS X icons but then I realized who’s the main target group for iMacs. But I’m still betting the iTunes CD will age not-so-gracefully:)

  4. PA Says:

    Samin, can you elaborate? What do you consider to be the main target group for iMacs and how does the icon design reflect this?

    The iTunes icon is a good point. Originallly, ripping CDs was one of the app’s main functions but since then many things have changed.

    Besides the sand watch, I was thinking about the ink bottle icon of Apple’s Pages. Is the situation different when the icons represents something that is clearly old-fashioned in the first place. (In general, I dislike the fact that iWork icons do not seem to have anything in common when it comes to visual style or level of abstraction.)

  5. samik Says:

    We still have steam trains in our traffic signs… and I see a compass in Safari icon.

  6. samin Says:

    @PA: Aren’t iMacs in general the computers for people who don’t want to use computers? Kind of an entry-level Macs, for families, older people etc. I thought about this and design language-wise, the OS X icons are pretty much an opposite of the Apple industrial design. They’re rich, realistic, textured and very much acting as real-world objects. Of course, the icons remain the same throughout the whole line-up, but it makes the most sense with iMacs. The dark & minimal look & feel of Apple Pro software such as Final Cut etc supports this as well.