A small design change to Snapchat

Copy still goes a long way


I passively use Snapchat. I might receive one a day. I rarely send any. I’m not their core user. But one thing that always bugs me is the way they represent videos vs. images.

Maybe I’m a dinosaur, but I have no fucking clue which one is a video and which one is an image.

Now I’m sure some high schooler out there is saying, “Hey you, old guy, shutup, just look at the colors.” (I’m not that old, I’m 28). And since I’m not an avid user, Snapchat shouldn’t give a shit about my opinion either. But colors? To represent two completely different media types? In an ephemeral environment where context matters?

I am currently sitting in the back of a meeting (pretty bored). I just received a Snapchat. I don’t know if it’s a video or if it’s an image. If I knew it was an image, I’d click and hold it now. And odds are it would make this moment a bit better for me, and maybe even cause me to smile. But FOMO, mixed with anxiety, has set in.

What if it’s a video? What if I don’t have my volume on, and I miss something really funny? Like a baby making farting noises? (A lot of my friends have recently had babies and they seem to make their way into my feed quite a bit). Even worse, what if I do have my volume on and everyone in the meeting turns around and looks at me?

I know there is beauty in simplicity, but not to the detriment of clarity. Two words could change this whole thing: “Video” and “Image.” In my opinion, there is always room for clear copy in UI design.

Ahh, that’s better.

P.S. In writing this post, I have now learned that purple is a video.


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