It is of course the venerable Illuminated rocker
All software designs should try to carry over as many as possible of its
- Two distinct states
- It is immediately clear if it is "on" or "off"
- Audible and tactile feedback
- Clear and understandable marking
Plus it adheres to standards. The off state is the "down" position and the
symbols are the IEC/IEEE standard so its usable globally.
(Image found in the "Top ten off switches " blog post on CNET.co.uk.)
Aye or nay?
I like the idea of using illumination as a secondary clue.
In English, of course, both on and off start with the letter "o" and some
users are confused by the standard 1 and 0, thinking that the zero is the
letter oh (+on).
I suspect that the origin of the 0 is that there is zero power in the
circuit when the switch is on but I don't have any documentation about that.
Hi Morten, I would have to disagree with the thinking that the typical
clearly indicates which state is active based on the physical position
of the 1 or 0. I've worked with these switches where the bulb has failed,
in those circumstances its not clear whether the raised/prominent
position is the active state or not (it isnt). My vote for the king
of switches has to be the Siemens isolator rotary, in a word:
foolproof. A solution designed for critical industrial
OK, I'll admit that's a good one. It does not easily translate to a digital
Where I work, there is a long underground corridor connecting two of the
buildings. In the corridor there is a room with a huge evil-looking metal
locker that has a single 3-way switch on the outside. Its the same rotary
switch you mention. It has one position for "peace", and one position for
"war". Thankfully, its switched to "peace". I wouldn't want to think what
happened if someone went down there and switched it to "war". But its really
the third position labeled "off" that troubles me the most :-)
On Sun, Mar 2, 2008 at 5:04 AM, pauric <pauric at pauric.net> wrote:
> Hi Morten, I would have to disagree with the thinking that the typical
> rocker switch
> clearly indicates which state is active based on the physical position
> of the 1 or 0. I've worked with these switches where the bulb has
> in those circumstances its not clear whether the raised/prominent
> position is the active state or not (it isnt). My vote for the king
> of switches has to be the Siemens isolator rotary, in a word:
> foolproof. A solution designed for critical industrial
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