[LINK] Are GUI design standards no longer relevanr?

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Mon Jan 18 22:17:39 AEDT 2010

On 18/01/2010, at 9:22 PM, David Lochrin wrote:

> Words are best.  This is why civilisation evolved written language from pictographs.

Words are best? I love such generalisations, especially since I've spent most of my working life as an editor...

Why is the 'play' button on virtually every recordable device shown as an enclosed forward arrow? And why does the car headlight switch show an ellipsoidal image with straight lines emanating from it? I can think of a hundred more examples, but the point I am trying to make is that the standard 26 characters of the English alphabet are a poor form of standardised communication, no matter what combinations are put together. Iconography is just as useful, and often transcends a given language.

Written language is merely another form of iconography.

(I think that the starting point of this thread revolved around Google's choice of iconography over mere letters. If it were that bad, Chrome would die an instant death. Same with the iPhone, which uses a multitude of icons (and the 'spanner' icon - or 'wrench' for you Americans - has fallen out of favour, replaced with a gear icon - equally obtuse, but becoming a standard nonetheless...)


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