Personified computer icons

 

Once upon a time the mouse cursor didn’t lean to the left, pixels limited the design of computer icons and using a floppy disc as ‘save’ made sense. 

Icons came from the BC years when humans started using symbols to communicate, and maps to navigate and signs to relate. 

But what are they now? In a world rich with information and technology a simple arrow has meaning that the first humans couldn’t have dreamt of. These everyday symbols have taken physical metaphors into a digital environment and they morphed into a whole new global language. 

HIJ stud earrings

Icon Stud Earrings

HI decided to bring your favourite icons (voted by you!) to life in a set of stud earrings. #wearableui  (coming soon to purchase early 2018). 

But then some more research was done (by research I mean, googling) and it turns out that some people believe objects have a spirit or soul! Animism was discovered by an anthropologist, Edward Tylor (picture an old black and white portrait of a man with a long beard - that’s him!). Ed said this was the earliest form of religion known to mankind - leading into totemism and shamanism. Tsukumogami is the Japanese folklaw that tools have a spirit once they hit their 100th birthday - magic! No wonder we write books with hocruxes (Harry Potter) and magic powerful rings (LOTR). Also, in my Island of New Zealand, the indigenous Maori people have special rituals when stones and wood are carved. The carving is referred to as ‘violence’, and the off cuts/chips of wood or stone must be returned to the land after the transformation has been complete. 

As a product designer - this makes total sense. No wonder our souls hurt when certain projects don’t make it into the wide world #naturalselection? #theydidntusertestatthestart Everyone’s got that one project that didn’t go-live or had the plug pulled half way through. I wonder what happened to the souls of all that code, or the spirit of the prototype? 

HI hopes you enjoy getting to know the Cloud upload, Pointer, Image, Setting cog and Location pin. These 5 icons are being given a new life early next year as 3d printed stud earrings. So in the meantime we’ve created some personas to help you get to know your new icon spirit friends.