A User Experience Designer

Can Superman save you?

November 30th, 2011 | Posted by Carlyn in user-experience

To update, or not to update – a story for the Save icon

save icon

I have heard discussions around the Save button that really hammer on how old school the floppy disk is and that no one uses them anymore. Well, duh. Yeah, no one does use a floppy disk, but does that mean we can just change this symbol? Change a standard?? Standardizing takes time, we culturally adopt or reject collectively and things that we gravitate towards standardize over time. So if we were to change the save icon, what would we change it to? A hard drive? A small box? Tupperware? Superman? Jesus???


My beef with this discussion is that where we store our documents continues to evolve. We started with the floppy disk, then CDs, followed by USB and external hard drives and now we’re onto the cloud. Are we done yet? Can we say the locations we save to now are not going to change in 20 years? What will never change is the first thing we saved our documents on way back when.


I’m not in love with the floppy disk, but I know what it means and so do you. I don’t want to throw something else out there that makes you think “I wonder what that does?”, that is the opposite of my job. I eliminate questions in design, I don’t create new ones.


If you have seen new software that implements the new take to the save icon, please share! I am eager to see what direction this will take.

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