I HATE the lack of protocol icons

Sean Egan seanegan at gmail.com
Tue Jun 12 11:47:00 EDT 2007

On 6/12/07, Etan Reisner <pidgin at unreliablesource.net> wrote:
> What about a green circle screams "available" at you? I certainly grant
> that people have come to expect it (at least some people coming from some
> clients) but people expecting things isn't a reason to keep them if they
> aren't good. (See thread title if my point here isn't bleedingly obvious.)

I guess the metaphor to a traffic light isn't as obvious as I think it
is. We have a "green light" for "I'm available for you to talk to me"
and a "do not enter" for "I'm busy, please leave me alone." I think
these are great.

> I think the green circle is a horrible icon, for a number of reasons. It
> lacks any distinguishing features of its own, which makes finding it
> harder than it needs to be (no I'm not color blind, but I don't pay much
> attention to color in general).

I am color-blind, and I think it's fine. All the other icons have
distinguishing features, which, in effects, distinguishes the green
circle. However, people with other vision impairments might have a
problem that the icon doesn't have a distinct silhouette: a problem
shared with 'away' and 'offline.'

> It doesn't at all have anything to do with
> availability of my buddy in any meaningful availability metaphor I can
> think of.

Green light.

> I also just happen to think it looks ugly (and I even like
> green).

Can't help you there.

> I'm not wedded to the feather, it was just an idle thought my wife and I
> had, I'm more than open to suggestions of better icons for 'available', I
> just really don't want to stick with the circle.

I'd much just not show an available icon at all than have my list
littered with feathers.


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