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Rationale Behind Facebook’s Round Redesign And Dull Colors Explained
By Kylie Woon, 11 Sep 2017
Composite image by DesignTAXI, images via Facebook
Facebook’s latest redesign has been met with a fair dose of criticism, much of which surrounds the new, rounded icons across the app and circular display pictures.
Despite the complaints, there may be good reasons as to why Facebook has opted to walk down the ‘rounder’ route—following the footsteps of Twitter and Instagram. Mashable spoke with Shyft design VP Kori Handy to get insight as to why major social media giants are venturing down this style route.
Round display pictures draw people in
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all made the switch from square display pictures to circular, because it draws the eye to the face better than a square does.
This also differentiates content from user icons, says Handy. Content, which is boxed, will now no longer “compete” with boxed user images, providing more clarity.
“Your face is more round than a box, right? Also, from a visual design perspective, the content is boxed, and if the avatars are boxed too, it makes the user have to divide content from people’s faces,” explains Handy.
Bubble-like grey comment boxes shine spotlight on content
Another major critique that surfaced about the redesign were the WhatsApp-like grey chat bubbles.
“The grey ‘dull’ colors are on purpose,” says Handy. “Because of neutrality, it is frequently used as a background color. It makes other colors pop.”
Greyed-out design elements help to shine spotlight on your photographs, videos and other content, because they look bright and will pop against the neutral grey.
It worked for Instagram
All in all, it is difficult to imagine a company the size of Facebook launching a redesign and not getting judgements about it. It is bound to happen, but the majority of users will soon grow accustomed to the new changes.
Why? The rounded design trend was first kicked off by Instagram in May 2016, and it worked well. “Facebook and Twitter have been influenced by Instagram’s past design changes,” Handy says. Given Instagram’s successful execution last year, it was proven that the redesign was not a major risk.
Continue reading more about the motivations behind Facebook’s redesign.
[via Mashable, opening composite image by DesignTAXI, images via Facebook]
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