I have perused questions about icons becoming outdated. I think the problem is that they usually derive from a physical object rather than the action involved (noun instead of verb). Even the spelling of words can change over time, to say nothing of pronunciations and different languages overall...
Has there been useful research with conclusions about:
- Designing icons that do not depict outdated (or soon to be) objects.
- Icons that are valid across cultures and time - not based on words.
- How many icons people can see and respond to at once (eg: the Ribbon).
- Making icons that would be translatable to blind people (this is less important to me, but seems like a consideration).
Yes, it looks like 4 different questions, but really, I am trying to get at the "essence" of what an icon is, apart from what culture it derives from. Please consider these as angles of a single question.
Why this is important to me: If software can be used by people around the world with different languages, and everyone knows (or can be shown) what the "Save" button means, then there is an underlying - wordless - understanding. I would call this "right-brain" knowledge. I think that left-brain methods, concepts and ways of communicating are far overused, at the expense of the faster and more powerful (for some purposes) right side skills. I would like to help move toward using more of the "brain" / human capacity in a more natural way. Thank you.