The Red Badge of Urgency

If at some point in the near future Mail natively has the ability to assign X-Priority (rather than using the MailPriority plug-in), it would be nice if Mail’s Dock icon badge would change color depending on the priority of incoming messages.

  1. Priority 1
  2. Priority 2
  3. Priority 3
  4. Priority 4
  5. Priority 5

I’d like to thank all the wonderful people at the Department of Fatherland Security for the bang-up job on color selection! I can’t count the number of times I’ve been reassured by the color coded terra threat system! For such a macho, homophobic administration, this color scheme sure does have some semblance to a certain flag commonly seen at gay pride parades… Makes you wonder!

The badge would take on the color of the highest priority unviewed item(s). The colors would have to be carefully chosen to maximize their effectiveness with the large number of people who have some form of color blindness. The Priority 3 color is not very readable. A purple hue might work.

For applications which provide a dock counter badge and networked content that can be rated, the badge color could be tied to such ratings. If I rated a feed 5 stars in my feed reader, the Dock badge would turn red whenever that or any other 5-star feeds were updated. The badge would change color as the user worked through the content.

I know some people would find the color changes irritating, so an option to disable them would be good.

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Daniel J. Wilson

I am a designer, drummer, and photographer in Brooklyn, NY.