Icons carry meaning, the same as words. In fact, we use icons to replace words. In user interface design, icons convey the meaning behind an action, but doing so without words. This saves space on the screen, but also makes it easier for the same program to address multiple languages. Whether you have your system set to English or French or German, you see the same icons.
So it baffles me that the floppy disk continues to represent the "Save" action in so many user interfaces. You can see from these LibreOffice Writer screenshots, the "Save" action in both versions uses a floppy disk icon. I'll note that 188.8.131.52 is the latest version of LibreOffice Writer.
|LibreOffice 184.108.40.206.0 on Fedora Linux (screenshot by me)|
|LibreOffice 220.127.116.11 on Fedora Linux (screenshot by me)|
And it's not just LibreOffice that uses a floppy disk icon to communicate "Save." Microsoft uses the venerable floppy disk icon in the latest version of Microsoft Office:
|"Microsoft Word on Windows 8" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.|
But what is my problem with the floppy disk icon? No one under 30 recognizes it as a floppy disk. It is just some funny-looking square that means "Save." Users have been forced to learn the meaning of an icon. But the icon is supposed to be obvious in its meaning.
The "Save" icon needs an update. We need to change the "Save" icon to be meaningful to a variety of users, not just those that grew up with the older technology.
image: Free Icons Download