Is there a better way to design switches than I/O?

  • enter image description here

    What was the thought process behind whoever designed the I/O on/off button?

    To me, it seems extremely confusing whether or not I is on, or O is on, and I still get pretty confused today as to which is which.

    Why was this designed this way? From a user-experience standpoint, it doesn't make much sense, wouldn't ON/OFF work better? Better yet, why is this still considered the norm in today's society, and not ON/OFF?

    Is there anything else better than I/O that is better for the user? Or am I best sticking to I/O?

    Do you have a situation where you're looking to use a power button such as this? What situation is that as we can cater the solution to the actual problem. If it's just general curiosity then this isn't the best place for such a question - we need answerable questions that actually provide a solution to a specific problem.

    As the image shows - what matters is that it lights up to show that it's on.

    @JonW Edited to fit your guidelines

    @PhillipW Note, I have quite a few switches at home that have I/O, but don't have a nice light behind to tell me if it's on/off. I just pulled a stock image because I couldn't find anything else that looked more clear

    I've just had to dig this question out as I have a new fridge with a (non illuminating) switch marked 1/O and still couldn't remember which setting is supposed to be 'on'...

    The real issue being offered here is the inability of some people to remember if O or I = on. The association chosen is fairly arbitrary. However, so is left and right which remains a larger problem for many many people. All that is required is for someone to learn a way of remembering the I/O association correctly. Perhaps by converting to O to 0, making 0 = empty/nothing = off!?

    Wouldn't an 'x' and a tick be better understood?

    that 1 and 0 and on and off seems pretty logical to me. However whether the 1 has to be up or down to be 'on'...that is a hard part.

    I decided the (I) ment Ingaged, works for me. What about green for on and red for off!

    As is demonstrated by the stock photo the 'solution' here is for manufacturers to spend a bit more money and include a light in each switch. That way it needs no labelling at all.

  • Jeroenem

    Jeroenem Correct answer

    8 years ago

    This has to do with binary numeral systeem. 1 for on, 0 for off. This way it's understandable for everyone around the world, since not everyone understands English (ON/OFF).

    It's also readable from 2 sides, where ON/OFF is harder to read.

    enter image description here

    +1 and I would like to add that 1 can also mean "yes" and 0 accordingly "no" interpreted in binary code

    +1 for pointing out that it's readable upside-down as well!

    O and I are the esperanto of switches: they're made for everyone, but only experts understand them.

    I think there a way more people who understand ON/OFF rather than the binary numeral system.

    I'm a nerd and always get confused by the traditional 1/0 labels. I interpret them as a straight line (blocked, off) and an open circle (opening, flow, on).

    I am a computer nerd with a full understanding of binary. I also understand circuits. I never never remember if its an open (I) and closed (O) circuit or if it's a binary zero/one. Since it's almost always related to circuitry, my mind kind of goes that direction. I can see why people would find it confusing

    I can't believe that, in 6 years, no one has pointed out that your upside text is wrong _(it's also mirrored)_

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM