Alphabet soup in our docks

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Forgive my rant, but Macromedia is perpetuating an annoying trend with their icons. Rather than creating icons that are at least somewhat indicative of the function of their applications, companies like Microsoft and Macromedia are lazily designing unimaginative stylized "letter" icons.



Let's see, my dock already has a W, two E's, an X, and a P. Now if I choose to purchase Macromedia's MX line (and add those apps to my dock), I will have an F, an FW, and a D, (Scratch that, I hate Fireworks).



Granted, the green swirly thing and the pink swirly thing gave little indication of app function, but they were uniquely recognizable as the Dreamweaver and Flash logos.



At least if we had more apps that started with vowels, we could spell things in our dock.



From Think Secret:

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    mac gurumac guru Posts: 367member
    xicons...



    There are TONS of Macromedia replacements...



    Granted I'm REALLY getting tired of my 2 E's a W and an H.



    Mac Guru



    [ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: Mac Guru ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 15
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    [quote]Originally posted by Mac Guru:

    <strong>xicons...



    There are TONS of Macromedia replacements...



    Granted I'm REALLY getting tired of my 2 E's a W and an H.



    Mac Guru



    [ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: Mac Guru ]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Hey, just add that 'd' that was in the first post and you'd have 'weed'. I think it should be a game we play here: dock scrabble. It would be fun
  • Reply 3 of 15
    Hmm... I never really noticed the trend with all the letter icons. I've got 2 e's, 2 x's, 1 p, 1 w, 3 m's, 1 o, and 1 a. Sheesh!



    [ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</p>
  • Reply 4 of 15
    x704x704 Posts: 276member
    "Alphabet soup in our docks " <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> LOL <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

    That's actually a pretty good point though.
  • Reply 5 of 15
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    [quote]Originally posted by starfleetX:

    <strong>Hmm... I never really noticed the trend with all the letter icons. I've got 2 e's, 2 x's, 1 p, 1 w, 3 m's, 1 x, and 1 a. Sheesh!</strong><hr></blockquote>



    isnt that 3 x's?
  • Reply 6 of 15
    amoryaamorya Posts: 1,103member
    I'm disadvantaged... I only have an E and a B



    Not sure if the B counts... it's BBEdit, and has been that way for years!



    Amorya
  • Reply 7 of 15
    [quote]Originally posted by janitor:

    <strong>isnt that 3 x's?</strong><hr></blockquote>D'oh! Well, that shows you what today's university education is worth!



    editing to fix...
  • Reply 8 of 15
    quaremquarem Posts: 254member
    Mac OS X provides us with 128x128 pixel photo-realistic icons, and all the major app developers are reverting to the most basic designs, letters. Ironic?
  • Reply 9 of 15
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    i have to admit, i have been really pleased with adobe's artistic direction with their icon design. very nice, and still good (though a little low contrast) when booted in mac os 9. (though can someone explain the whole curly-thing that acrobat has used since the beginning of time? i've never gotten that... haven't used quark 5 in classic/mac os x yet, but it looks like they're going towards that lotus flower for their new "brand identity." hmmm. oooo-kay.



    the folks at iconfactory still make the most drop-dead gorgeous os x icons on the planet (dave brasgalla is a friggin' genius).



    [ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: rok ]</p>
  • Reply 10 of 15
    junkyard dawgjunkyard dawg Posts: 2,801member
    Yeah letter icons are such an ignorant display of un-creativity. WTF?



    I can understand it with M$, but these other companies...I expected more.



    And I really fu[kin' hate having a "W" in my dock. No Dubya reminders, please.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    i think that you have to consider the 90% of other Mac users who are not power users like us... (I can just imagine my parents for example... they bought a cube and 15inch tft and do little else but word, email, and browsing... DOH!) will they remember the first letter of the application or some artsy image? Granted that when you scroll over the icons the name of the app appears, but still... I think that joe-user remembers the first letters of the application rather than a nice icon...
  • Reply 12 of 15
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member
    Well, I have e, W, P, X, B and Q (in that order) in my dock. I actually had to reverse my original order of EXcel and Powerpoint to avoid having XP in my dock. (Heaven forbid!)



    I do agree that icons are turning increasingly unimaginative. In fact a strict definition of an icon would exclude letters. It's got to be some sort of graphic. The new 128x128 icons are pretty, but their often photorealistic nature bothers me. Icons are supposed to be stylized representations of the application for which they stand. E.g. How would you know what OS X's hard drive icon represents if you've never opened up your computer and seen a hard drive? Photorealistic "icons" are useless. I long for the late 80s, when Apple was the posterchild of good icon design.



    I love the Adobe icons: they indicate their function wihtout letters and you can recognize an Adobe app by the family resemblance among the icons. But my all time favorite icon is the <a href="http://www.panic.com/transmit/"; target="_blank">Transmit truck icon</a>. It's pretty, not a photo and indicates that you can use Transmit to truck files back and forth to a server via FTP. Brilliant!



    Escher
  • Reply 13 of 15
    fluffyfluffy Posts: 361member
    [quote]Originally posted by ZO:

    <strong>i think that you have to consider the 90% of other Mac users who are not power users like us... (I can just imagine my parents for example... they bought a cube and 15inch tft and do little else but word, email, and browsing... DOH!) will they remember the first letter of the application or some artsy image? Granted that when you scroll over the icons the name of the app appears, but still... I think that joe-user remembers the first letters of the application rather than a nice icon...</strong><hr></blockquote>



    i don't think so. The iTunes icon is FAR better than a T or an i in the dock. The whole point of an icon is to convey emotion and purpose regardless of language, not to force the user to remember what his applications are named. Applications are used to complete tasks, and the task needs to be represented to the user, not the incidental and often arbitrary name of the program. (Excel? Entourage? Outlook Express? WTF?)
  • Reply 14 of 15
    It'd certainly be nice to see the Mac OS X icon guidelines being followed... i.e tool on rotated document... perhaps with a small branding letter or something...





    So, say, Excel would be a spreadsheet, rotated 45 degrees, with the little X in the lower right hand corner.



    Powerpoint? Pile of Slides, P in right hand bottom corner.

    Word, text document Ã* la TextEdit, with W.



    You get the idea...
  • Reply 15 of 15
    francisg3francisg3 Posts: 168member
    So glad there aren't any icons reminding me of Al Gore. Or Hillary. Yet.
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