Facebook makes men and women equal in new Friends icon
Facebook has made a few subtle changes to some of its icons, giving its female silhouettes a slightly more prominent position.
The Friends and Groups icon previously had the female silhouette in the background. Now, the man and the woman in the Friends icon are pictured side by side. In the Groups icon, the woman — though still outnumbered — is now in the foreground.
Facebook design manager Caitlin Winner explains the design process in a blog post on Medium.
As a woman, educated at a women’s college, 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,” writes Winner. “My first idea was to draw a double silhouette, two people of equal sizes without a hard line indicating who was in front. Dozens of iterations later, I abandoned this approach after failing to make an icon that didn’t look like a two headed mythical beast. I placed the lady, slightly smaller, in front of the man.
The Groups icon also received a change; previously, it consisted of two silhouettes of a man and one of a woman, with one of the men in the foreground. The new icon has the woman’s silhouette in the front, with two men in the back.
Winner also redesigned the female icon’s “Darth Vader-like” silhouette, giving it a “slightly more shapely bob” and reconfigured the group friends icon (above) to put women out front. She says that after saving the new files, Facebook’s engineers “shipped them to the world without much fanfare,” although, we’ve only been able to spot the redesigned icons on mobile, not desktop. “As a result of this project, I’m on high alert for symbolism,” writes Winner. “I try to question all icons, especially those that feel the most familiar.”
Source: The Verge