At the Times, we’ve been playing with a modified form of this iconography for possible use on certain pages where we need to present a multiplicity of XML feeds, like this one. Right now we have kind of a mess of buttons — one from iTunes, another from My Yahoo, and one rendered in a generic ‘badge’ style, circa 2002.
That last one happens to be the object of my continued annoyance, if not outright scorn. I’ve never been a particularly big fan of this rather pervasive button style, and so I’m keen to replace it with the new Firefox/Internet Explorer 7 standard. Nothing’s been decided yet, though, as this older style does have its proponents.
If we’re going to make this switch, we’ll need to address the two problems that I mentioned above: labeling and visual prominence. One of the very talented designers in my group came up with what I think is an excellent extension of that icon, which changes the chiclet-like bug into a full-width, capsule-like button.
Personally, I’m very fond of it, as I think it does a good job of staying true to the original visual language while addressing our particular needs, too. But I’m also a little leery of prematurely creating a new variant on an emerging standard, especially in an arena like syndication, where there’s already no shortage of confusing variants on emerging standards. What do you think?