Facebook has updated its ‘Friends’ logo to place the female icon in front of the male icon, after design manager Caitlin Winner noticed an imbalance in the previous design. Shortly after joining the company, she looked at the glyph files of the male and female icons, and took action when she noticed the female had a literal chip on her shoulder.
Caitlin wrote in a blog post: “After a little sleuthing I determined that the chip was positioned exactly where the man icon would be placed in front of her, as in the ‘friends’ icon, above.
“I assumed no ill intentions, just a lack of consideration but as a lady with two robust shoulders, the chip offended me.”
So, Caitlin got to work on not only smoothing out the offending chip, but also giving the female icon a more stylish haircut than the “Darth Vader-like helmet” she had. She then repositioned the woman in front of the man icon, as she said “it was hard not to read into the symbolism of the current icon”.
“The woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in,” Caitlin added.
The designer also took on the groups icon, which previously featured two men and one woman, with the woman sat behind a larger man who was in the centre. Caitlin said: “It was an obvious refresh to use three unique silhouettes instead and, here again, I placed the lady first.”
It was a gamble on Caitlin’s part to “timidly” save the new versions of the glyph files, but one that paid off; Facebook is now rolling out the new icons to desktop and web users of the social media network. Have you noticed them yet?