Replacing network-offline (old version 2xmonitor) with NM wlan 0% signal strength icon

Max Bowsher maxb at
Sat Mar 7 12:01:58 UTC 2009

Mat Tomaszewski wrote:
> Nicolò Chieffo wrote:
>> I totally agree that it's confusing
> Is it confusing just because it's different to what you've been used to?
> I know it's not a justification, but OSX have been using exactly the
> same metaphor for many years now and it seems to be working out very well.
> There was a significant problem with the old icon (2 monitors), it was
> *totally* mysterious (what 2 monitors have to do with network
> connection?) and we had many complaints.
> There were couple of other reasons for trying out this new solution:
> 1. The *only* way to connect to a wireless network (which is the essence
> of connectivity these days) is by clicking on the network icon.
> Therefore it should be something that users would associate with
> wireless networking.
> 2. Having 0 signal = not connected may not be true from technical
> perspective, but it is true from practical perspective. You have no
> signal, therefore you won't be able to browse the web. Click on the icon
> to do something about it (check what's going on, connect to a different
> network, etc).
> I appreciate critical voices, but please be constructive. One thing I'm
> sure of is that we will not bring back the old icon. :)
> Any suggestions as to how to improve the current situation are more than
> welcome!

There *is* a difference between 0 signal and not connected, even from a
practical perspective - 0 signal means "you need to move closer to the
access point", not connected means "you have to initiate a connection" -
they're different failure modes with different practical action required.

I agree that it's a problem that there is no obvious icon to represent
the abstract concept of "network". In absence of any better suggestions,
I agree with Nicolò Chieffo's suggestion - a red cross overlaid on the
existing icon would be a reasonable solution.


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