The floppy disk save icon is so familiar to all of us. It has always been there since the day one of our computing experience.
There has always been callings to redesign the icon. While most users won’t even think of it, undoubtedly there is a major design flaw with the symbol itself. Floppy disk has long been obsolete. When was the last time you actually handled a floppy disk? For younger ones, I believe some have not even seen one at all. The problem is not obvious at this time as most of us can still collectively recognize the icon, but eventually we will come to a point that the future generation can no longer relate to it at all.
So far, the focus has been put on the particular save icon. But thinking of it, why bother having a modern, updated ‘save’ icon, while we still have blank paper for ‘new’, scissor for ‘cut’, clipboard for ‘paste’ right beside it? I know, all these other objects are not likely to become obsolete at any time soon…yet. They are sharing the exact same issue with the subject at the core.
So i think what helps here is not really a new save icon. But rather a new system for these tool icons as a whole.
While I thought that a circle might be too generic to represent data and tried to develop other dedicated geometries, the circle still wins out because it is so perfectly simple, provides clarity and works well in small scale.
The storage medium here can represent local, cloud, or anything that could come in times.
With these in mind, everything becomes so straight forward and obvious, a set of tool icons can be derived.
Works in small scale.
Just like any other changes and transitions, it can be counter-productive at first for users to encounter these new icons. But once it took off and people getting used to it, there will be no problem for anyone to interpret them. And the most important thing is, with these timelessness is achieved, we won’t have to go through this again.