> A classic example of this problem occurred to me a few months ago when my
> son tried to set the clock on some electronic device and the icon looked
> an analog clock, sort of. It was a circle with dots around the border and
> a couple of lines. I immediately recognized it because I grew up with
> clocks, but my son didn't make the connection until I explained it to him.
> When I explained it, he said, "That's stupid, clocks don't look like
> We speak the same language, live together, and the only difference is my
age and past
> experience yet he has to 'learn' a new symbol whereas I 'recognized' the
Another example of obsolete paradigms: last week while installing software
my laptop I suddenly realized that the icons representing the new software
those of diskettes -- but I was of course using CD-ROMs as the installation
Oh, how time flies.
-- Jarkko Hietaniemi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> -----Original Message----- > From: EXT J.Schneider@epixtech.com [mailto:J.Schneider@epixtech.com] > Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2000 1:29 PM > To: Unicode List > Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com > Subject: Re: [unicode] Re: (TC304.2313) AND/OR: antediluvian views > > > > Pictograms are problematic because they are often culturally > based. Some > pictograms we have learned, but the original idea behind the > pictograms in > automobiles, VCRs, etc. was that a manufacturer could save > money by not > labeling with a language but instead use a picture that is > 'supposed' to > have universal meaning across all locales. It doesn't work. You can > usually figure out the meaning of some or even most of the > symbols used, > but not all. The easiest ones to figure out are the ones > you've seen many > times in previous similar situations. Meaning, you've learned a new > 'alphabet'. The problem is that this alphabet has to keep > growing to cover > new functions in automobiles, electronics and appliances. > It's beginning > to sound like the CJK problem. Each time a new function is > added, somebody > has to come up with a new icon. A classic example of this > problem occurred > to me a few months ago when my 8 y/o son tried to set the > clock on some > electronic device and the icon looked like an analog clock, > sort of. It > was a circle with dots around the border and a couple of lines. I > immediately recognized it because I grew up with analog > clocks, but my son > didn't make the connection until I explained it to him. When > I explained > it, he said, "That's stupid, clocks don't look like that!" > We speak the > same language, live together, and the only difference is my > age and past > experience yet he has to 'learn' a new symbol whereas I > 'recognized' the > symbol. > > The use of pictograms has their place, but it does require the user to > learn a new set of symbols with which to represent ideas. > Standardization > of pictograms is important, but I'm not convinced that > Unicode is the place > for that standard. > > Wayne S. > > > > > > "Alain" > > <firstname.lastname@example.org To: "Unicode > List" <email@example.com> > .qc.ca> cc: Unicode List > <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, > firstname.lastname@example.org > > 06/13/2000 Subject: Re: > [unicode] Re: (TC304.2313) AND/OR: antediluvian views > 09:29 AM > > > > > > > > > À 10:45 2000-06-12 -0500, David Starner a écrit: > On Mon, Jun 12, 2000 at 05:31:58AM -0800, Alain wrote: > > Personally I am all in favour of pictograms everywhere, as far > > as possible (it avoids many linguistic problems, in > particular in > > multilingual environments -- such as airports). It requires, > unfortunately, > > a lot of education, as most of them, beyond a certain number of > elementary > > ones, are not obvious nor intuitive at all. But it is worth the > effort, > > this kind of education. > > [David] > Why? By that time you've started to make a language - > one that can't > be written in Braille, can't be easily displayed on > those dot-matrix > light signs, and can't be spoken ("Passports?", "Look > out!"). The only > advantage I can see is it being an easier sell than a > real language. > > [Alain] It is much lighter than having to provide > indications, say, in 12 > languages (most common example: toilets). > > On VCRs it seems a good prcatice (outside the USA, at least). > > In Canada, on keyboards, it avoids putting bilingual > indications for > functions, and to have to produce different versions showing > English first > then French, or French first, then English. > > With more than 2 languages, precedence becomes problematic. As an > example of language precedence, an actual case: at the Toronto Airport > Radisson Suite Hotels, my prefered hotel in Toronto (so far! > but it could > change...), they recently introduced a multilingual voice > mail system. In > Canada, French and English are the two official languages of > the country > (and most probably at this hotel the majority of the customers speak > Englsih and French, with a high concentration of French speakers). In > general in Canada you are presented with a choice of language > where you > indicate your option by pressing a specific key on the > telephone keypad (1 > English 2 French -- or the reverse in Québec). At this hotel, > French is the > 5th choice. It is offensive, I can assure you (I would not have been > offended in Taiwan, of course). > > Pictograms avoid such problems. I just gave an indication > of where it > can be very useful, and be a peace factor. > > Alain LaBonté > Québec > > >
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