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>So does less-intuitive design if it's part of a universal standard.
>I've never seen a piece of documentation telling the user to raise the
>little red flag in his mailbox when he wants the carrier to pick up
One of the risks of pictures is that they can carry different meanings to
different people. I understood the little red flag the first time I saw it
on a computer screen, although I've still never seen a flag on a physical
mailbox (bit of rag tied to a tree yes, but not flag attached to mailbox).
The detailed cultural connotations are fun if you happen to know them, but
that icon worked because the flag meant "Pay attention" and that was enough.
Which makes sense when you think about it, because that's what the physical
flag on the physical mailbox, like the bit of rag tied to a tree, meant in
the first place.
Looks like one key to intuitive interfaces and effective documentation is to
keep all the connotations complementary. Simple really <g>.
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