The Worst Icon

You run into some bad icons in the computer business. Little guiding images that look like nothing, guide you nowhere, and delete all your files when you click them.

There are also many antiquated icons, but at least they once meant something.

While working on Carole's Mac the other day, I came across this gem:

That icon is pretty much ubiquitous in the Mac world and, I think we can agree, seems to represent a circle-embossing application of some sort.

But we'd be wrong. It's a hard drive. A necessary piece of hardware to be sure, but not one that nine out of ten people have ever laid eyes upon. Mac owners are contractually forbidden, under pain of the installation of a second mouse button, from opening their sleek designer cases to even peek at such a thing. It's like using an image of a carburettor, speaking of antiquated things, to identify the ignition switch in your car.

So what does it do? Oh, that's the icon you click to look at your files or find applications. What happens when you drag it to the Trash Bin? I'm too terrified to try, but I have visions of the drive shooting out of the case with shards of plastic and aluminum spraying into my eyes.

It's not often I can say this, but Microsoft wins this user interface battle. The Start button makes a heckuva lot more sense than a diagram of a computer's innards.

Archived Comments

  1. Stephen on 20110625.Saturday:
    You do realise that Steve Jobs has now added you to "The List"? When they find you, it involves handcuffs, a blindfold, water boarding and a large apple rammed in your mouth. They only let you go when, through tear stained eyes, you whisper, "Apple is the second coming." They then crush your Zen music player with some sort of aluminum cased music/phone/calendar/camera/gaming/coffee heating device while dancing around screaming, "SUCK IT GATES!!!"
  2. Dave on 20110625.Saturday:
    Yes, but iTorture is just the cutest thing ever. Only Apple would think to Feng Shui the dungeon.