Do you know your icons?

We are swamped with icons. Some we know , some we don’t. Some, some people know. Other people know other icons. The Hanselman blog has a number of icons which he believes we need to dispense with. I have said that on this blog before. Having a floppy disk icon for the save icon makes no sense any more even to those who are well and truly familiar with that icon. There are two games which test and develop your knowledge of icons – Icomania and Icon Pop Quiz. The gaming world acknowledges, at least , we have a problem. There are so many icons. We can’t and don’t know them all. Then there are icon changes with some OS upgrades and we are supposed to work it out. Google is oblivious to the fact we have an icon recognition problem. The internet is blissfully unaware. We are just given icons and told to get on with it. Some of us can and some of us can’t. Given the internet is very much about communication then I think we need to have icon awareness built in to daily living.

download-128I realised that the other day when a 30 something described the download icon as an arrow going into a bucket. It can also mean forward or share if the arrow is going the other way. share-128 (2)

There is no one age group responsible for this lack of clarity.

The    Share-128   icon confuses a lot of people. They cannot work out what it means because it looks like a molecular structure to them. Share icon is the last thing which would occur to them.

In time, I am sure we shall sort this out and generational change will be understood as the way we need to go about icons as each generation of devices brings us new and different functionality.

How to change your Mac icons

Students asked me before how I changed my Mac icons and I wrote this post Change your Mac icons. Students asked me again at the end of last year how I changed my Mac icons and so here is another post. The video explains it really well. You can just search for icons and download them and then use the preview pane to copy and paste the icons. Sometimes it doesn’t change. Don’t panic. If that happens on a folder it will invariably change when you reboot your Mac.I usually pick icons which support learning we are doing or a theme I am running in class. The video refers to Mavericks but changing the icons works the same way in all the previous versions of Mac OS.

Christmas icons

christmas icon If you are looking for Christmas icons like I just was, then findicons has a very big selection. In Windows you right click on the folder, go to properties and then the customize tab. You can browse for your icon and apply it. On a Macbook you right click and go to Get Info. Top left you will see the icon you already have for the folder. You highlight the one top left and then copy and paste your new icon there.

Do you need icons?

icons I use my desktop on my MacBook as a means of creating interest, discussion, supplying active or passive information to my classes because it is connected to the whiteboard and students will take in visual information easily. At the moment we are doing French speaking countries so I have images , maps, information for a different country each week on my desktop. I am always looking for icons so my desktop looks the part according to what I am teaching. At home I am starting my Christmas preparations and one of the things I will do is decorate my home computers so Icon Finder is the very thing for me. You just type in what you want and it presents you will a myriad of choices. My type of site!

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