Simon Harriyott

The 'Save' icon

I was just putting a "Save" icon in an application, and I started wondering just how long the standard save icon will be a floppy disk. My first computer had only floppy disk drives, no hard drive, so obviously the icon had to be a disk. Now however, I guess that nobody saves directly to a floppy drive, but saves to their hard drive first, and copies it to floppy. Or USB drive. Or burns it to CD. Or emails it. Some people don't even have floppy drives any more. They're going the same way as LPs and audio cassettes.

So the floppy icon is out of date, but to change it would be madness. I can't think of a single application that doesn't use it. What could it be changed to? Everyone recognises it, and most users would struggle to save anything if it looked like, say, a hard drive.

Developers of Windows programs generally copy the look and feel of Microsoft Office or Visual Studio, for two reasons. Firstly, they look cool, and secondly, everyone using Office will be comfortable with similar programs. Microsoft have have turned the icon indigo recently, and we'll all follow.

So when will the floppy disk change? When Microsoft changes it.
19 November 2004