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Replacing the “Save” icon

David Friedman suggests that we replace the common floppy-disk “Save” toolbar icon with a new visual metaphor:

Not only don’t people use floppy disks anymore, but the options for saving are even more varied now than simple disk format. You might save to your own computer, or a drive on a server somewhere off in the cloud. You might even be using a program that autosaves in certain intervals without you needing to think about it. Even with a program like that, it would still be nice to know how long its been since the last save.

So then the question is, What do we use instead?

I’d argue — and I think, with iOS and Lion, Apple has shown that they agree — that rather than rethinking the icon, we should abandon the concept of explicitly saving files.

Modern computers have more than enough disk space and RAM to implement per-file versioning and aggressive autosaving for almost all common document types. (And it looks like Lion implements that.)

With the sophistication we have in modern hardware and software, there’s no reason anyone should ever lose any work to crashes or power outages because they forgot to hit Save for a while.

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