The Modernization of App Icons

We are in the branded merchandise business, so we understand the value that a simple logo can hold and how long it takes to build brand integrity.

That’s why it’s so difficult to understand why everyone is constantly changing their app icons. Why? Why? WHY would they DO that?!

Instagram. Uber. Redbox. Netflix.

Rebranding happens – we get that. One must update the app functions periodically so it can perform better, so it’s actually the same for the icon. It may “perform” better by being more attractive to the user, highlighting a rebrand, or standing out amongst its competitors. The logo seems to be a minor infraction – I mean, it’s not like it’s going to cause us to uninstall it, right?

But that very first time you try to find it after it changes is brutal.

Scrolling forward…

Scrolling forward…

Scrolling back…

Scrolling back more…

{tosses phone and sobs uncontrollably}

{reluctantly picks phone back up and tries again because…the smart phone is LIFE}.

This article discussing the latest design updates on Microsoft Office app icons provides some valuable insight. The critical component? Ensuring that the icons are still instantly recognizable during the modernization process.

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