Harvey Balls are round icon
s you see in feature comparison tables that indicate the degree to which the feature meets the desired criterion. They are most often seen in Consumer Reports
magazine rating different products. For example, in a comparison of batteries, you might see a table of features like "battery life", "recharging time", "recharging life". The highest rated in each category would get a black
ball. A medium score would get a 50% grey ball. A poor rating would get a white ball.
It's uncertain the origin of the term "Harvey Balls". It is possible they're named after Harvey Ball
, the inventor of the iconic '60s smiley
button. There's also a theory they were first used by a productivity/management consultant
named Harvey Poppel. His major invention was an office clock that pinged every 6 minutes. The idea was the ping would remind workers another 6 minutes had passed and, well, what have you shown for your last 6 minutes? What an asshole.