I'm not really sure what an intuitive idle state and non-idle state icon could be. I was thinking an hour glass enter image description here would be great for non-idle (busy) state. Does anyone have any good suggestions or examples?

closed as off-topic by JOG, Matt Obee, Charles Wesley, JonW Oct 21 '13 at 18:03

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  • "Questions requesting Icon Suggestions are off topic. While the subject of icons is on topic, there's very little value in soliciting suggestions for a specific icon in a specific context. See this meta post for more information about this topic." – JOG, Matt Obee, Charles Wesley, JonW
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If we are considering "idle" and "active" states for universal usage it is important to consider not only color encoding, but shape encoding as well. This will help ensure your icon meets accessibility standards.

Attached are a couple of different examples that I have commonly seen as patterns around the web. You will note that some of these would be more appropriate for user states (third from left), and others more generic status indicators (first, second).

status icons!


A spinner is a fairly common indicator of a "working" state:


If you need a complementary "idle" icon, you could just stop it spinning:

enter image description here

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