I was having a discussion with one of my co-workers about the UI design of one of our products. I was explaining what I thought the life-cycle should be for a particular type of data, and I used iTunes as an example to illustrate my point. A couple hours later, my co-worker told me that he had just been on the phone with the product manager and used my iTunes analogy. The product manager told him that he had been thinking it should work like iTunes, but thought nobody would take him seriously.
Certainly, iTunes is a well designed piece of software. It wouldn’t make for a good example otherwise. But of more interest to me is the fact that It has gained a level of ubiquity that makes it a useful example—everyone understands what you’re talking about. I can discuss the difference between deleting a reference and deleting data in terms of playlists and music files and immediately reach a common understanding.