The original icon’s skeuomorphic style had the benefit of making it feel tangible despite being pixels, and our initial explorations involved trying to modernize it as it was. We started with the basics, removed ornamentation, and flattened the icon. And we arrived at a brighter, flatter option — but was it better? Would we feel the need to do this again in a year? Since these early “flattening” explorations lacked the visual weight of the original, we turned our focus to figuring out exactly what people loved about the classic icon and how we could carry that over. Anecdotally, we knew that people loved the rainbow and the camera lens was a key visual element. As a part of our process, we also asked people at the company to draw the Instagram icon from memory in 5 seconds. Almost all of them drew the rainbow, lens, and viewfinder. With this insight, we decided to translate these elements into a more modern app icon that strikes a balance between recognition and versatility.