[ubuntu-art] Bad visual metaphors

Lapo Calamandrei calamandrei at gmail.com
Thu Mar 1 23:32:40 GMT 2007

2007/3/1, Alex Jones <alex at weej.com>:
>      1. "Save." Nobody uses floppy disks anymore! We need an updated
>         metaphor, even if it's just some stupid abstract symbol that
>         doesn't really represent something in the real world - as long
>         as one can grow to associate it consistently with committing
>         something semi-permanently to disk, that's OK in my book!

I think the same, in tango after some discussion was choosed to use
the hd + arrow which may not be the best metaphor, but it's better
then the obsolete floppy.

>      2. "Computer". Generally, this visual metaphor is dominated by a
>         big honking great widescreen LCD monitor. This would be a much
>         better metaphor for a display! How about an icon of an actual
>         computer, sans-keyboard and display?

Icons needs to be as clear as possible and a pretty anonymous box may
not be so clear

>      3. "Network"/"Internet". Even worse, two computer displays with
>         really oldskool looking pipes connecting them! As with the save
>         one, this is a commonly re-used concept, i.e. it is incorporated
>         into many other icons - music shares, remote administration, web
>         browser, NetworkManager applet, etc. I do think that the
>         "Internet" icon, with the globe and some noticable flashing
>         lines going across it is a brilliant idea, and it's a shame it's
>         not re-used anywhere I can tell. For example, a better HTML
>         document icon could be a page with this globe superimposed on it
>         like an emblem. A better Web Browser icon could be this globe
>         with a page superimposed on it, again like an emblem. I guess
>         these two ideas are the reciprocal of each other. :)

I'm not a great fan of the globe metaphor, even that one is overused
as well as the two computers.

>      4. Cut/Copy/Paste. We just nicked these off everyone else, and I'm
>         not convinced they're particularly intuitive (neither in name
>         nor in visuals), but that could be somewhat controversial.

Honestly I never thought about those metaphor, for me they are quite
clear, but probably because I'm used to them

> Of course, I don't mean to offend anyone by these comments. Just trying
> to be constructive. :)

indeed it was pretty constructive


> --
> Alex Jones
> http://alex.weej.com/

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