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Jens Krebs

New Icons Too Similar

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Hi,

I really like the new, square app icons, would prefer them in different colours with more contrast though -- to me, they look too similar and I can see me constantly starting the wrong app.

screenshot 2018-11-15 at 16.13.08.jpg

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I disagree, square feels too much like Adobe, i miss the triangles, they were unique and different and didnt make my Mac's dock look chunky... and the Triangles looked like an A, which was fitting.

If we're stuck on squares, maybe decrease their size by about 5%ish, so they dont feel crowded. 

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I can see that someone who is color-blind may have trouble distinguishing those...

While I don't have that problem, I don't like them anyway... I prefer the old ones also.

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In the dock, the new icons are by far the ugliest (OK, it's an opinion). Maybe it has become time to flatten the previous icons a bit more, but i don't like what they have produced for 1.7. No need to be too similar to Adobe.

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Really liked the old icons. Their silhouette was instantly recognizable as Affinity. The new ones lack that strength.

Still hoping these new icon designs are just beta-specific, though if this is the case, the β badge of Publisher Beta would have been more fitting.

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49 minutes ago, leshido said:

the β badge of Publisher Beta would have been more fitting

That is how the betas were for prior releases.  Fairly confident they actually plan on using these as of right now.  Wondering as well about the missing indicator for the beta.

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On 11/15/2018 at 1:44 PM, fde101 said:

I can see that someone who is color-blind may have trouble distinguishing those...

I think the difference in the number of lines & the shape they enclose would be enough to tell them apart, even for people with color blindness.

That said, application icons are not something I spend much time looking at, so I don't care much what the look like as long as it is easy to tell one from another.

Besides, if you dislike the Affinity beta ones that much, you can (on Macs at least) replace them with your own version, or maybe save the old 1.6 ones somewhere & replace the new ones with them. Like most other graphics resources, they can be found at path /Applications/Affinity Designer Beta.app/Contents/Resources/DesignerAppIcon.icns & similar path names for the other Affinity apps.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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23 hours ago, R C-R said:

Besides, if you dislike the Affinity beta ones that much, you can (on Macs at least) replace them with your own version,

Oh wow, I just flashed back to the good old days of ResEdit. 


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.12.6

Affinity Designer 1.6.1 | Affinity Photo 1.6.7 | Affinity Publisher beta 1.7.0.270 | Affinity Photo beta 1.7.0.112 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.7.0.7

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On 11/18/2018 at 12:14 AM, R C-R said:

I think the difference in the number of lines & the shape they enclose would be enough to tell them apart, even for people with color blindness.

That said, application icons are not something I spend much time looking at, so I don't care much what the look like as long as it is easy to tell one from another.

Besides, if you dislike the Affinity beta ones that much, you can (on Macs at least) replace them with your own version, or maybe save the old 1.6 ones somewhere & replace the new ones with them. Like most other graphics resources, they can be found at path /Applications/Affinity Designer Beta.app/Contents/Resources/DesignerAppIcon.icns & similar path names for the other Affinity apps.

Do I have too many preconceptions about color blindness if I believe people in that case would meet quite some other bigger challenges using the affinity apps than just the icon color?

About changing icons: yes you can do that. But I’m quite sure that after the third beta update in one month that needs fiddling to restore the prefered icon, one will simply adopt the new icons anyway. That happened to me the last time they changed the icons.

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12 hours ago, vonBusing said:

after the third beta update in one month that needs fiddling to restore the prefered icon

There must be some way to automate that...  :35_thinking:

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I wasn't too fond of the previous ones but prefer them to these. Too low contrast and not exactly pretty (I'm being polite lol). At least they're very easy to replace on the Mac.

Does anyone have the really old AD one, the original? Think it might have only been in the pre-release Mac beta, I can't find it or a link to the original beta to get it from.

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Certainly, the old triangular shape differentiated the Affinity apps from the Adobe apps at a glance, but the triangular shape is also very limiting as a canvass for icon art when you begin to think about coming up with art for a suite of related apps beyond two or three. 

Perhaps the cutout motifs for each icon could be redrawn a bit to make the designs a little bolder. Perhaps the color scheme for each icon could be enlivened a bit with a broader range of values (dark to light) like the older icons. But I'm okay with the square canvass and the unique cutout motifs for the icon art.

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Has anyone else noticed how many programs at least on the Mac are using icons that are basically round, sometimes with things sticking out of them?

 

Safari, Chrome, Scrivener, Aperture, Sigma PhotoPro, On1 Photo RAW, FontBase, Davinci Resolve, Fusion, Atom, Android Studio, Xojo, Datum, Steam, iBooks, BRU Server Config, Finale, Traction Waveform, Homespun Instant Access, Deckadance2, Tangent Mapper, iTunes, Aiseesoft Mac Blu-ray Player, Xamarin Workbooks, Norton Security, Compare & Sync Folders, Contour Shuttle, CodeMeter, Dashboard, FireFox, FontForge, Help Crafter, iZotope Ozone, Launchpad, MarsEdit, MPlayerX, OpenOffice, ParticleShop, Phocus, Photos, Scribus, SoundSoap+, StuffIt Expander, TeXShop, Time Machine...  all have round icons, and yet they are mostly all sufficiently distinct that telling them apart is not much of an issue.

 

Triangles in and of themselves are not really a problem either, nor is this completely unique... Aurora HDR is using an icon that is basically a triangle, for example (someone heavy apparently sat on each of the sides for a while and bent them a bit)... though not nearly as common as the round icons.

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Part of the reason is that graphic designers, especially tech ones, are sheep these days. One lot comes up with the latest fad and they all copy it regardless if it's any good or not.  It didn't used to be that way.

Having said that a few of those have been like that for ages and some make total sense. But I do find the current dumbing down of design really sad, it's just easy and quick. Saw this the other day, an old article and  it makes realise, if you didn't already, what rubbish people are churning out now.

https://theultralinx.com/2013/10/highly-skeuomorphic-icon-designs-incredible-detail/

There was another I saw comparing old versions of app icons with the current faddy ones, sad too. It's even more sad that all the UI/UX research shows the current flat fad is worse in every way. It must be horrible being a graphic designer at some of these companies. (sorry for all the sadness!)

I've made Mojave a bit more pre-Yosemite, changing all the icons, traffic lights etc, and it's so much nicer.

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Honestly — the square Affinity icons are NOT cutting it. When I first found the Affinity programs years ago it was the icons that commanded my attention & held it. The triangle shapes stood out because of their uniqueness. With the current approach there's an overwhelming sense of BLAH! Looking at my dock now I HONESTLY feel SAD. Please, Please re-invest in the original icons — don't take something absolutely great & place a mundane, unappealing icon with it.  

#BRING BACK THE TRIANGLE!

 


15"-inch MacBook Pro, 2017, 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 | 16Gb

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12 minutes ago, ONSO said:

Honestly — the square Affinity icons are NOT cutting it. When I first found the Affinity programs years ago it was the icons that commanded my attention & held it.

Why anybody would want to be distracted by any icons that held their attention is something I cannot understand. Apps are meant to be used, not admired, are they not?


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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1 hour ago, TonyO said:

Ugly UI and a garbage icon is probably the main reason nobody uses ...

An ugly UI (user interface) is a valid reason to not want to use an application but I can honestly state that I dislike, sometimes to the point of hatred,  all the Icons for all the applications I use most often. Both aesthetically and for more practical reasons. I look at the interface and work there, looking at my work.

There is an application with an Icon which I quite like, yet the application I use has an ugly Icon, I use the latter application because it is a superior product.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.12.6

Affinity Designer 1.6.1 | Affinity Photo 1.6.7 | Affinity Publisher beta 1.7.0.270 | Affinity Photo beta 1.7.0.112 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.7.0.7

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4 hours ago, R C-R said:

Why anybody would want to be distracted by any icons that held their attention is something I cannot understand. Apps are meant to be used, not admired, are they not?

@RC - R — It's about the complete package. As I stated previously the initial design is what caught my eye in the first place. Had it not been for that I would have passed on the app like I have done with so many others in the App Store. It was the admiration for the icon that drew me to the app — once I was drawn in the usage of the app turn out to be great also. So win / win. Truly sorry you can't understand.


15"-inch MacBook Pro, 2017, 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 | 16Gb

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53 minutes ago, ONSO said:

@RC - R — It's about the complete package. As I stated previously the initial design is what caught my eye in the first place. Had it not been for that I would have passed on the app like I have done with so many others in the App Store. It was the admiration for the icon that drew me to the app — once I was drawn in the usage of the app turn out to be great also. So win / win. Truly sorry you can't understand.

The icons for the retail apps sold in the Mac App Store are the original ones. The Designer & Photo betas are only available through this web site to users who have the retail versions installed (thus "customer" in their names). The square beta icons differentiate at a glance the betas, which are not ready for production use, from triangular icons for retail apps, which are. Since users must have the retail apps installed to use the customer betas, the difference serves an important function.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

The square beta icons differentiate at a glance the betas

Sadly, that is only true until 1.7 is officially released.

The Affinity team has made it somewhat clear on other threads that these icons will replace the nice triangular ones for the next version of the retail apps.

In prior versions, and for the first few 1.7 beta releases, the beta icons were differentiated by the letter beta being added to the corner of the icon.

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21 hours ago, R C-R said:

The icons for the retail apps sold in the Mac App Store are the original ones. The Designer & Photo betas are only available through this web site to users who have the retail versions installed (thus "customer" in their names). The square beta icons differentiate at a glance the betas, which are not ready for production use, from triangular icons for retail apps, which are. Since users must have the retail apps installed to use the customer betas, the difference serves an important function.

The function of the current icons is not at question — as stated by "fde101" — previously — the distinction was made by the addition of the word beta on the icon. Even in that instance the icon still proved to be unique. With the current version of icons there is sense of "Blah"; a blend in with the rest of the crowd feeling — nothing unique about them. 

From a design vantage it's a failure.


15"-inch MacBook Pro, 2017, 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 | 16Gb

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21 minutes ago, ONSO said:

With the current version of icons there is sense of "Blah"; a blend in with the rest of the crowd feeling — nothing unique about them. 

FWIW, I have around 50 application icons on my Mac's Dock. Other than the Affinity beta icons, only two of them, for the Mac Finder & System Preferences apps, are square. Some have pictographic themes, others are more symbolic or abstract. The most common Dock app icon shape by far is round, followed by rectangles, all of which are rotated by about the same angle counterclockwise from the vertical.

The 'blah' factor is subjective but for me a dozen or so strike me as considerably more 'blah' than the Affinity beta ones.

However, the appearance of app icons, whether 'blah' or not (& whether on the Dock, in an app store, or anywhere else), does not in any way figure into my decision to try or buy an app, or to use it once I have obtained a copy of it. What does is user ratings, product reviews, the support offered by its developers & other users, & of course its utility to me.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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