Spiffy new icon, a lesson and an update

Well, this update took longer than I would have liked. But it’s here now. I just submitted an update to my instapaper extension. It should be approved in a day or two.

This version sports a spiffy new icon. I’ve received a few complaints about that previous icon and it was time for a change. At the time, I’d just quickly put something together for the first release and promptly forgot all about it. Over time, you start to understand a couple of things. For one, shiny gradient/reflection effects can be tempting. But I think the mistake I made was not starting from the size people would have see the icon at. A rookie mistake to be sure, but you have to start somewhere. :)

I designed the previous icon at a bigger size (64x64). It wasn’t great, but at least looked alright then. However, when shrunk down to 18x18, it got fuzzy and muddled. With this version, I made sure it looked good at the size it’ll typically be in. So I got rid of the gradient, and added more contrast by using colours. Here’s the old and new icon side by side.

And most importantly, here’s how it looks in the browser when a user interacts with it. Previous icon included for comparison.

 

Much better now. Clean and simple.

You can also select some text now before clicking the button to have that added as a description when the page is saved.

More details here, and download should be here shortly when it’s approved.