Roots of Power?

15 Dec 2006 - 11:16am
7 years ago
4 replies
523 reads
Jason Witenstei...
2006

Does anyone know the "etymology" of the symbol that is ubiquitously used
as the Power icon?

Jason Witenstein-Weaver

hillcrest labs

Comments

15 Dec 2006 - 1:20pm
Jack L. Moffett
2005

On Dec 15, 2006, at 11:16 AM, Jason Witenstein-Weaver wrote:

> Does anyone know the "etymology" of the symbol that is ubiquitously
> used
> as the Power icon?

Here are a few resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_symbol
http://eetd.lbl.gov/Controls/publications/pubsindex.html
http://eetd.lbl.gov/Controls/publications/switch5.pdf
http://www.beatnikpad.com/archives/2004/02/03/the_power_on_icon

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

First, recognize that the ‘right’ requirements
are in principle unknowable by users, customers
and designers at the start.

Devise the design process, and the formal
agreement between designers and customers and users,
to be sensitive to what is learnt by any of the
parties as the design evolves.

- J.C. Jones

15 Dec 2006 - 3:02pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Assuming that the "circuit diagram" origin is correct, that's got
to be about the worst be of abstract meaningless icon design out there. For the
vast majority of people interacting with these buttons, the particular iconography
means absolutely nothing, so it is just a "unique symbol" with no inherent
meaning or decipherability, identified only by recognition.

Of course, human beings being what we are, we assume that there *must*be* meaning
attached to the icon -- since pretty much all our others have a meaning of some
sort. The reverse-engineered meaning I've encountered for the icon is that
it's an abstracted toggle switch in the up (on) position. "This button
is a switch," one which toggles the power.

-- Jim
Seattle
(with no power at home this morning, no matter what position the toggle is in)

-----Original Message-----
>From: Jason Witenstein-Weaver <Jason.Witenstein-Weaver at hillcrestlabs.com>
>
>Does anyone know the "etymology" of the symbol that is ubiquitously used
>as the Power icon?

15 Dec 2006 - 3:18pm
Onny Chatterjee
2006

My ancient Gateway 2000 (as they used to be called) 486DX 33 MHz(!) had a
rocker switch for power. The "on" side had a 1, the "off" a 0, which, I
imagine, makes complete sense to computer engineers. When they moved to one
button, it looks to me like someone stuck the 0 and 1 on top of each other.

-Onny

On 12/15/06 3:02 PM, "Jim Drew" <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:

The reverse-engineered meaning I've encountered for the icon is that
> it's an abstracted toggle switch in the up (on) position. "This button
> is a switch," one which toggles the power.
>
> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Jason Witenstein-Weaver <Jason.Witenstein-Weaver at hillcrestlabs.com>
>>
>> Does anyone know the "etymology" of the symbol that is ubiquitously used
>> as the Power icon?
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18 Dec 2006 - 8:05am
Arjan Geven
2006

What about the Reiki Power symbol - Choku Rei?

http://www.reiki.nu/treatment/symbols/chokurei/chokurei.html

- Arjan.

___CURE - Center for Usability Research & Engineering___

Arjan Geven, M.Sc.
Usability Engineer
Hauffgasse 3-5, 1110 Wien, Austria

[Tel] +43.1.743 54 51.14
[Fax] +43.1.743 54 51.30

[Mail] geven at cure.at
[Web] http://www.cure.at
____________________________________________________

-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] Im Auftrag von Jack Moffett
Gesendet: Freitag, 15. Dezember 2006 19:21
An: ixda
Betreff: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Roots of Power?

On Dec 15, 2006, at 11:16 AM, Jason Witenstein-Weaver wrote:

> Does anyone know the "etymology" of the symbol that is ubiquitously
> used as the Power icon?

Here are a few resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_symbol
http://eetd.lbl.gov/Controls/publications/pubsindex.html
http://eetd.lbl.gov/Controls/publications/switch5.pdf
http://www.beatnikpad.com/archives/2004/02/03/the_power_on_icon

Jack L. Moffett
Interaction Designer
inmedius
412.459.0310 x219
http://www.inmedius.com

First, recognize that the 'right' requirements are in principle unknowable by users, customers and designers at the start.

Devise the design process, and the formal agreement between designers and customers and users, to be sensitive to what is learnt by any of the parties as the design evolves.

- J.C. Jones

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/ List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/ (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
Questions .................. lists at ixda.org Home ....................... http://ixda.org/ Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org

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