It is time to get rid of the floppy disk icon metaphor

floppy_disk_iconI was viewing a PDF in google chrome and wanted to save the PDF to my local drive. Hovering over the document, a icon bar popped up. To save the PDF obviously I press the floppy disk icon, right? I used floppy disk when I was in college. I remember Apple uses it a lot in its user interface. But I can tell you that my elementary age children have never seen a floppy disk in their lives and would never have guessed the meaning of the icon. It was more ironic to see this used in Chrome. Surely many of the young engineers at Google has never really used a floppy disk either, right? Apple is working hard to make the "Save to Disk" action unnecessary. So who is going to come up with the next great metaphor for "save" while we still need it?

Oatmeal: What I want from a restaurant Website

Oatmeal is great. If you have never saw his comics, you are missing out. Today's comic on "what I want from a restaurant" is another classic. All web designers should show this to their clients. It argues clearly for "functional website". Visually pretty website is nice, but do not trade it for function.

  • Answer the most important question: What information does your website visitors want?
  • Give them the information -- your website is not sticky if the visitor leaves immediately instead of trying to find the information buried somewhere
  • Do not get in their way -- putting text in images, no matter how pretty, prevent people to copy and paste the text.

Reserve the Oatmeal book

You can watchMatthew Inman talks about his comic in this Ignite presentation:

New web design using blueprint

Christmas and last week of the year is traditionally clean-up and catch-up time for me. One project that I have been putting of again and again is to redesign my personal website. Here we are -- I spent the last two days learning blueprint, the grid based CSS framework, throw in a bit of CSS coding, and redesigned my personal site. I am also going to split up my larger "brands" into separate sites. I find that visitors to this site sometimes get lost in big mashup of information here. I am going to use the personal site for more personal and general writing. The Django, parenting, and CTO related materials will be moved off to other sites.

Love this new look?