Why Instagram’s decision to go black and white is great for their users

Alborz Heydaryan
2 min readApr 26, 2016

Instagram has been testing a somewhat radical new user interface of their app. A black and white approach to the infamous social media app with hints of red here and there.

Here are a few reasons, why I think this is perfect for the users:

1: The new tab bar is very clear and easy to understand!

The newly designed tab bar uses black, thick icons for the selected tab and thin, gray, line based icons for the unselected ones. The distinction is so clear that I highly doubt anyone will ever get lost. The user will always know what page they are viewing just by glimpsing at the tab bar.

2: Less color = less distraction

With the blue colors removed, the users’ attention is now more focused on the content. After all, people don’t use Instagram for the branding and the icons, but they use it to consume photos and videos of people they follow. With reduced colors in the interface, the users can now focus on what matters to them.

3: Clashing Blues

Blue is quite an unintrusive color. That’s why many websites, especially those who deal with photos and videos a lot, like Facebook and Twitter, choose it as their prominent color.
But blue isn’t completely prone to interfering with content. If the photo someone uploads, has a color that clashes with the Instagram blue, it wouldn’t look as good as it could have looked, if there were no colors. That’s another small but very welcome improvement for all people who upload amazing photos to Instagram.