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The “Save icon debate”

Should it be re-designed in the current context? 

Sajid Saiyed
Sep 27, 2013 · 2 min read

Designers many a times refer to the classic example of ‘Save Icon’ to justify the designs on the basis of ‘learnability’. The typical argument goes:

Even though many young people have never seen a floppy disk in their life, they can still recognize the save icon

Actually why only floppy icon?
The Mail icon (Envelope) and probably many more will also fall in the same debate.

This debate on LinkedIn forced me to think beyond the usual.

When we are kids, we know nothing, we are taught everything. This color is Red, this is called a table, this is an alphabet ‘A’ and it sounds like this. Everything we know today is learned through someone else’s perspective. A perspective that is universally accepted by societies from ages. When the usage of something becomes a norm and accepted by societies as practice, it can not be challenged.

I can’t go out today and claim that ‘A’ should actually sound like ‘B’ or a table is not a table but something else. Although I can and would love to, but most people will call me mad :)

So, I wonder, are we at a stage where many of us are feeling that some of the the norms, iconography and symbols we currently use are so deeply ingrained in us that we are in a position to freeze them and make them unchallengeable?


Are we still evolving and allow for these norms to be broken because we have the ability to do so.

Would be interested to know opinions.

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