08 April, 2014

The distance between phone icons and phones

Recently a friend asked:

“Imagine a phone…. Now tell me why does a phone‬ icon still look like a landline headset?”

I said:

Icons as visual abstractions that refer to a specific concept, come from an old paradigm, that of the mechanical (mail envelope) and electronic (landline phone set) era, where object’s looks and shapes came from their use and function.

Now we’re in the digital paradigm, where objects are impervious to function and don’t need a defined shape or, worse, as pure digital, they don’t even have a shape anymore. So most give images that are more vague and less recognisable that those of their mechanical counterparts.

So symbology has to take from the physical recognisable world, and thus from old shapes derived from old paradigms.

If you think of it, a phone is really no longer a “phone”. “phone” is one of its functions, but my iPhone is more my personal computer (I work and play through it) than my phone (I hate talking on the “phone”).

previously...

29 September, 2012

Myspace might unthrone Facebook

I bet you all that in 5 years, give or take, Myspace might unthrone Facebook. Not kidding. Think about it: teens and tweens are leaving facebook, and they need (could use) a place where to hang out. Myspace is a hangout place about music. music unites people, creates tribes. teens hang out in tribes, not […]

17 October, 2010

Unified Conundrum Of Web Design Intention

More and more, I find myself wondering, and lately pondering, about what’s wrong with my job. More and more the feeling points not to the job itself, but at the way it is managed. More and more I find that reassuring, as I know my job, that of a ‘User Experience Designer’, as my work […]


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‘Colorless green ideas sleep furiously’ is a sentence composed by Noam Chomsky in 1957 as an example of a sentence whose grammar is correct but whose meaning is nonsensical. It was used to show inadequacy of the then-popular probabilistic models of grammar, and the need for more structured models.” From Wikipedia

These days the web gives me a similar impression as this curious phrase. Sometimes it also reminds me of this blog’s content. I really don’t know which one made me choose it…

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