The new Instagram icon doesn’t deserve the scrutiny

It only took a few minutes for the new Instagram icon to be out in the open for the Internet to unleash it’s fury on it, and a few more minutes for the design “experts” to put it under the microscope and “rip it a new one”. Border radius this, stroke size that, the amateurish gradient from stock Power Point templates etc,.

The new Instagram icon doesn’t deserve the scrutiny! Here are a few reasons why:

It’s honest

While we’re busy complaining about how at Instagram they have broken every rule in the book, with their “amateurish” design approach, the fact that their new icon design does’t appear to follow any rules is a beautiful thing. It is what you’d call an honest design. When creating the only rule is that there are no rules and the designers at Instagram seem to get that.

It’s noticeable

In a saturated world where even Lady Gaga is struggling to stand out, the new Instagram icon achieves this with a familiar yet slightly psychedelic gradient. Is it aesthetically pleasing? Maybe, or maybe not, that is a subjective matter. But one thing is for sure, the icon is way more colorful and vibrant than the previous one and more likely to evoke positive emotions, obviously not the case at the moment but it has potential after the we’re no longer mad at Instagram for taking from us what we were used to. The new icon is nearly impossible to miss, it’s a constant reminder of the colorful filters the app has to offer, and an invitation to start posting on Instagram.

It’s extendable

There is no doubt the previous versions of Hyperlapse, Layout and Boomerang icons were amazing, however the new gradient element does a better job at making the connection between the main app icon and the rest of the Instagram app family and maintaining consistency.

Wrap up

Like in the past after Facebook, Twitter and most recently Medium announced a major change to their product, be it UX related or design, people took the internets to protest, only to eventually fall in love with the new approach. It’s part of the human nature to resist change and that’s ok.

As designers however, we should remember to be more open to it. Personally, I believe the new Instagram icon it does not deserve the scrutiny is getting from the design community. Even if the new icon truly sucked, we should at least applaud the Instagram design team for keeping an open mind and not being afraid to try something most of us would’t have dared.

Thank you for reading and keep it real ✌️

Please recommend to others if you enjoyed (or hated) this post :)