Changed logo icon for SQA Mate test cases management tool

Alexey Sotskov
Mar 9 · 5 min read

TL;DR

Was:

Became:

Story behind the logo

Beginning

When I thought to name a product (my test cases management tool) I ended up with the mix of 2 words: SQA Mate. SQA means “Software Quality Assurance”. Mate means what it means: friend, colleague, “can rely on” and feelings of support.

I wanted my customers to feel themselves like Ripley in “Alien” movie:

empowered, strong, capable, “I can do this” — such kind of feelings. I wanted them to feel themselves like they wear an exoskeleton when they work on test cases design, execution, etc.

That’s why I gave the product this name. I wanted to remember myself and not to loose this critical thing: feeling of a friend’s shoulder behind you, feeling of support.

Such feelings help us when we are in difficult, demanding situations. For example, when you are the only QA on the project, the only QA in a company, the only person in the Space.

I was looking for a logo, but I couldn’t find anything suitable. I didn’t have a friend designer either. And I didn’t want to hire designer on this staff as well.

Eventually, I took “Quality Sign” from Soviet Union (I am Russian):

I removed “USSR” label, removed that horizontal part (it was “K” rotated 90 degrees clockwise and meant first letter in a word “Kachestvo” — which means “Quality” in Russian) and added dark-violet color to the “arrow”:

That dark-violet color I took from the arrows of my “Longines” Swiss watch. It may be difficult to notice, but the arrow inside the pentagon is not black. It is dark-violet.

Squamata

I started blogging, participated in conferences, made website content and for “SQA Mate” query in Google feed everything on first pages was related to my test cases management tool.

One day I looked further in Google feed for that query and found, that it starts mentioning biology species…

People looked for “squamata” but asked Google for “sqamata”, “sqamate”. Also people made content and misspelled “squamata” and used words “sqamata”, “squamate” and “sqamate”. But they actually meant this:

Reptiles. Nice. I thought.

Accidentally I gave my product the name that is very close to a biological term. Latin language term: squamatus (“scaly, having scales”).

It was uncomfortable for me to find out this fact!

By the way Latin and Greek words are recommended to be used in naming! Because they are widely distinguished and usually nice to pronounce, read and hear. We have lots of word forms from Latin and Greek in our languages!

So, I thought: “Hmm… Put a lizard on a logo?” — and a few moments later I remembered, that lizard eats… bugs. And flies. And other insects.

Got this? It catches bugs! Like test cases catch bugs in software! So, the lizard, the gecko — they all started to fit the logo!

That was a first insight moment for me!

So, I started to google if we have nice ideas for lizard icons. I found nice ones:

but they have lots of small details. I wanted more simplicity — so the icon could fit the browser tabs as well (one of the main purposes of the icon — is to help you to find your tab in browser):

It is a UX question as well.

Finally, I found this conceptual image:

I liked an idea of chameleon, because chameleon changes it’s skin color like test cases change their statuses (and status colors) for “Passed”, “Failed”, “Blocked”, etc. cases:

But I didn’t like some details of that icon: chameleon looked at you rather than on flies and bugs and it had a few sharp edges. So, I decided to fix it and ended up with this:

Cool, right? Simple. Nice. Alive. Funny. Interesting. Ideas of “squamata”, “bugs hunting” and “different colors” behind one simple image. And most importantly: I like it!

This image can be later animated into GIF image with moves of eyes and changes of skin color.

This was a story of several years transformation from callous Soviet Union icon to an icon with an ancient life specie, that lives around us.

And I hope you liked it! If yes, please don’t hesitate to give this story a few claps to let me know!

Software Quality Assurance’s Mate

This blog is about SQA Mate — the Best Test Cases…

Software Quality Assurance’s Mate

This blog is about SQA Mate — Test Cases Management System that helps Software Engineers to spend less time working with Test Cases and to focus on Building Quality Software itself

Alexey Sotskov

Written by

I write about practical and effective techniques that help me and my colleagues in everyday software development and testing.

Software Quality Assurance’s Mate

This blog is about SQA Mate — Test Cases Management System that helps Software Engineers to spend less time working with Test Cases and to focus on Building Quality Software itself

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