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seen Mar 23 at 16:18

Feb
21
awarded  Yearling
Jan
29
reviewed Approve Distinction between saving and exporting
Jan
28
comment What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
@DA01 I'm not saying you're wrong, but I don't think the provenance is as well established as you suggest. On top of that, if the native american pictograph were not originally designed as direction indicators, but only took on that meaning later, can we really say that the original meaning of "arrow" is the answer to the question? Birds and stones can fly through the air, but their symbols didn't end up signifying direction. The full answer should consider the shape of the symbol. (To be fair, I expect it has more to do with affordance than with perspective).
Jan
28
comment What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
I really like the point about affordance. Consider this: once you associate an arrow with direction, there's really only one direction it can indicate. Use it the other way around, and it's a very vague and ambiguous indicator. This may not be why the original 'designers' drew it that way, but it's a clue as to why it worked.
Jan
28
comment What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
This question actually has two interpretations: what was the original designer thinking about, and what makes it such an effective symbol. It may well be that the original reference was to an arrow, but it worked, because of biases in our visual cortex, or the affordance of the shape itself.
Jan
28
comment What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
@DA01 I must concede that Okavango's answer shows that this shape was drawn to refer to a hunting arrow (and native American stone arrows did have barbs). But the symbol was not used to indicate direction. I'm not saying that my hypothesis must be true, but I don't consider it disproven by the fact that native American used pictograms based on arrows. We'd need to find the earliest known occurrence of an arrow indicating direction to have more information.
Jan
28
comment What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
@DA01 Ancient arrows looked more like teardrops than converging lines. You need some pretty advanced metallurgy to create those to thin barbs and actually make them strong enough. I'm not saying ancient humans were referencing something. I'm saying converging lines are a depth cue, which is why our brain associates them with direction, which is why the arrow symbol works. In this view, the symbol wasn't really consciously designed: it emerged because it works.
Jan
15
comment When is it appropriate to ask User confirmation?
@pattern86 Even in that case, the fact that you created a confirmation button gives you a false sense that you solved the problem. People can still push the button out of habit. A better solution would be to use a molly-guard to prevent accidental button presses, and a time delay between the button press and the activation of the rocket, to allow for a cheap undo. The system should also clearly communicate the change of state once the button is pressed (ie. start a big red countdown).
Jan
13
awarded  Caucus
Dec
19
awarded  Good Answer
Dec
18
comment What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
@JensSchauder I'm not suggesting that they consciously understood one-point perspective, I'm saying that converging lines automatically suggest direction to us, because our visual cortex is optimized for just those kinds of cues. It explains why the arrow is a compelling symbol to us, but I'm not saying someone designed it with this in mind.
Dec
17
comment What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
This is a nice approach from first principles, but I think you should distinguish between a point and a direction. For a point, two lines in a cross is probably more natural, while for a direction, two converging lines is the simplest way to do it.
Dec
16
revised What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
added 550 characters in body
Dec
16
comment What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
That's a good point, but I'm not sure that rivers usually that straight. Also, early man wouldn't often find himself in the middle of a river I expect. I think I'll just have to accept it as a weakness of the hypothesis. Still, you get converging lines even without a road... I'll try and find an example.
Dec
16
awarded  Nice Answer
Dec
16
comment Intuitive interface for Composing Boolean Logic?
If it fits your situation, it can really help if the user can start with a set of examples. For instance, if I'm creating an e-mail filter, I could select a load of emails which should match it. From that it's a relatively simple task to suggest a starting point for the filter, which the user can fine-tune. You can also help the user in their editing process by showing live examples of which records match and which records don't.
Dec
16
answered What is the reason arrows are interpreted as direction?
Dec
16
revised Do websites still have to support Internet Explorer 8 and below?
added 13 characters in body
Dec
15
comment How best to let users know that the site is responsive, that it should run well on desktops, tablets and mobiles?
To expand on the second paragraph, the best place to do this would be in a blog post announcing and describing the site (re)-design. Those kinds of posts are a great place to show your users how much is going on behind the scenes, without bothering them with it when they have someting important to do.
Sep
22
awarded  Good Answer