Image and video sharing service Instagram, just revealed a fresh new user interface (UI) and, more controversially, a brand new app icon… and the internet is in uproar.
The Facebook-owned platform previously boasted one of the most recognisable icons of all time: the Polaroid camera that was known and loved by its 400 million-strong band of fiercely loyal users has been replaced by a new, flatter, minimal rainbow-coloured design. This has also been echoed across Instagram’s sister apps, Boomerang, Layout and Hyperlapse.
So, why the big change?
Ian Spalter, Instagram’s head of design announced this new look in a post on thought-leadership site Medium, explaining that it was about time that Instagram’s identity represented its diverse community of users. They asked a group of people to draw the Instagram icon from memory and found that the key visual elements that people recalled were the camera lens, viewfinder and the rainbow. The design team took these as the starting point for their redesign and attempted to translate these elements into a more modern representation of the Instagram community and ethos.
But Instagram didn’t stop there.
“While the logo is a colourful doorway into the Instagram app, once inside the app, we believe the colour should come directly from the community’s photos and videos,” Spalter writes.
Instagram took this opportunity to refresh its UI, which has remained more or less the same since it launched. They have given the app a stripped back new look, which puts the content centre-stage, and gives the user a much less cluttered, less distracting experience. The text, navigation and notifications take a back seat, allowing users to better focus their attention on the images and videos shared.
This change has had us at loggerheads in the Dialogue office, with some championing this fresh, new look, while others remain loyal to the iconic Polaroid-inspired logo.
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Video source: medium.com/@ianspalter