Facebook seems to be on a roll since the past few months with rapid design changes and feature additions. The world’s largest social media platform has now made intricate changes to its icons on both, the web and apps and the company’s Design Manager Caitlin Winner shares these changes via a post on Medium. Most importantly, the changes highlight gender equality.
Log in to Facebook and check out that ‘Friends’ icon in the upper right corner. See anything different? Macninja The old logo has the man in the front and the woman behind him, while the new logo on the right has the woman in front of the man. That seems like a small change but there’s a lot more going on here.
1. The Friends icon
Facebook design manager Caitlin Winner writes that she was offended by the chip on the woman’s shoulder in the design “as a lady with two robust shoulders.”
Even as Winner set about redesigning the entire icon to fix this, she reduced the helmet-head look of the woman’s haircut and also changed up the look of the man’s hair. More importantly, she placed the woman in front of the man in the new icon.
She writes: “As a woman, educated at a women’s college, it was hard not to read into the symbolism of the current icon; the woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in.”
2. Groups icon
The winner also changed the position of the people in the “Groups” icon and placed the woman in the front yet again.
The old group icon featured two men and one woman, where the woman sits at the back left behind the larger centered man. After the applied changes, the new icon will now use ‘ three unique silhouettes instead’ wherein, the lady will be placed first. The designer also removed the “Darth Vader-like helmet” of hair worn by the woman, replacing it with “a shapely bob”.
“I try to question all icons, especially those that feel the most familiar,” she writes.
The new icons are better rounded and more balanced in terms of shape and size, and perhaps, a bit politically safer.