a redesigned instagram


While downloading a new app on my phone yesterday, I saw something in the updates section of the App Store. It was something more than just another silly “we claim to improve the app weekly, but refuse to tell you what we’ve changed” descriptions.


Instagram's redesigned logo

What I saw in the App Store was a brand new Instagram icon waiting. I forget about the app I was planning to download and instantly tapped update. The old outdated icon is finally off my homescreen; replacing it is a simple white icon inside of a colorful background. Within an hour or two, I went from not knowing what to think of it to absolutely loving it.

Alongside the flat icons of other applications, the new icon stands out from all others on my phone. And I’m not just saying that because it sits right next to the ugly Tweetbot icon (come on Tweetbot, you can do better).


What I did not expect, after seeing the bright colorful icon, was a flat gray interface. I instantly loved the simplistic gray redesign. The functionality of the new design is a complete success. Photographs are beautifully displayed front and center. The ability to edit photos on a white background is something we did not realize was so wonderful until Instagram gave it to us.


Some will say the icon is ugly and old school because it contains a gradient. I, on the other hand, understand that anything wrong can be done right. Besides, if we want to talk old school, let’s take a look at their previous clunky logo and unflattering blue.

There seems to be pattern with redesigned identities: any time designers love redesigns, the public claims they can’t stand them. This, however, only occurs when the redesign involves a product or service which they use obsessively. Then what happens? We’ve all seen it before. They get used to it so much that when the next redesign comes along, they defend that one. And by this point, they would refuse to go back to the design which they originally defended. I guarantee you the people who “hated” Facebook’s last redesign, if it were given back, would come straight back to the new one; even if both versions have the same exact features.


Why is that? Because we, as consumers, don’t know what we want until we have it. That is why it is so important and so necessary for companies, organizations, and public figures to present us with, and push us into things we seemingly do not like. They have to be brave for us. We, ourselves, as a single person, are not brave enough to say “I don’t like this, but I will give it a chance.” We aren’t brave enough to break the rules. But if we’re pushed into it, we will be forced to accept it or leave it. And not once have I seen somebody quit using an app or service as a result.

Sure, we oppose redesigns because we’ve grown accustomed to the current design. However, if we continue to stay in our safe zone, our comfort zone, if you will, where are we going? How can we innovate? We don’t. We stay in place. Again, we do not know what we want until we have it.

Instagram's logo