Improving and Creating Computer Icons
Let Me Try It!: Part
Perhaps you have been clicking on computer icons for a long time. Perhaps
you are just beginning to use them. In either case, you may have experienced
times when you were not exactly sure what a particular icon stood for
or what clicking on it would do.
In this Let Me Try It!, you will revise
and improve computer icons by following the steps below:
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CHANGE ANY OF THE ACTUAL
ICONS ON YOUR COMPUTER.
Look at the icons on your computer screen,
either on your word processing toolbars or your desktop. Do all of the
icons make you immediately think of the task they represent? You probably
notice that some are more easily understood than others.
Choose two icons that you think are not as
clear as the rest. If you do not know what the icons stand for, these
may be good choices. You are choosing icons that you will try to improve.
You may have to ask your teacher for help in identifying some icons,
or your computer may be set up so that the name of the icon pops up
when you place your cursor on it. Be sure you know what task the icon
represents before you decide to improve it.
You need a copy of each icon to work with.
You may get copies of the icons in two ways. You can:
(a) Draw the icons on separate pieces
(b) With your teacher's help, do a
"screen capture" of the icons you want to work with. If you do one
screen capture for all the icons, you will probably need to print
out the screen capture more than once. Follow your teacher's directions
about the number of printouts you need. If you do a separate screen
capture for each icon, be sure to print out each screen capture.
Make the following notes on the screen capture
for each icon or on the drawing you made of the icon. Write the words
we have italicized and answer the following:
What is the icon named, and what will clicking
on it allow you to do?
(b) Needed Changes:
Describe the changes you think would improve
the icon and explain why these changes would be an improvement.
If possible, use the draw function on your
word processor or some other drawing program to create the "improved"
icons. Or, if you cannot use a computer drawing program, draw the "improved"
icon on a separate sheet of paper.
Be sure to place the name or function of your
icon at the top of the drawing (whether you draw by hand or use the
If possible, staple your finished picture
to the screen capture or drawing and to the notes you took about improving
the icons. Make the picture of your improved icon your top page.
After you have created your "improved icon,"
go to How Did I Do?: Part A. Use the checklist to help you check
Let Me Try It!:
How Did I Do?: