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UX/UI Part II: Assumptions


Summary

In 1984, it was clever to make the Save icon look like a floppy disk. There was an immediate visual connection for any user who was even a little tech savvy. It was easy to explain to the less sophisticated user: "Before you click this disk thing, you need to put one of those disk things in the slot." Today, the average child is already on the same level as yesterday's moderate-level users. And, of course, they have no idea what a floppy is, unless they have one of those parents who blew the dust off of one and showed it to them. It won't be long before the CD and DVD disappear from the collective consciousness in the exact same way.

We live in a world where an adult can conduct their entire life without knowing how to read an analog clock. They've never dialed a phone, the don't know why the soldier in the movie says, "Watch your six" when he means, "Look behind you." And we are still using iconography that assumes that everyone knows what a landline handset looks like. UX (User eXperience) is about making things easy and obvious to the person using the software (and hardware). That is, except when it isn't.

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