I've noticed a change in badges and topic or product indicator design. It seems design is moving away from graphic images (such as a FourSquare type badge) to more generic looking visuals that still have a distinct difference. A couple of examples of the generic look are the badges used in all StackExchange groups and the StackExchange footer where each group has a colored square vs an icon. My guess is this is to allow easy readability on mobile and for easier programming (no image required.) Is this a design direction that is happening? I cannot find any research.
closed as not a real question by ChrisF, Ben Brocka♦ Aug 14 '12 at 21:27
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I think what you're noticing is a variety of things:
And finally--and most importantly in my opinion: