I love using Instagram – much more than Facebook. I feel like I can be more authentic and close to people on Instagram. Needless to say I spend more than the average 21 minute a day on this app. I can catch people’s attention by using certain photos, certain filters and certain quotes that will appeal to the right audience. It just feels much more personal than any other social network. If you would like to start an Instagram gallery for your business let me know (ok, I am going off topic now).

Anyway. Instagram has taken the world by storm, at the beginning of May, by changing its look. I thought I would share with you my thoughts on the look of the app – inside and out. Because I actually quite like it.

1. The new logo

My score: 3.5/5

First let’s talk about the logo. Everybody has been talking (i.e. complaining) about the logo. I understand it takes a bit of time for people to get used to changes – especially when they are that drastic. But hear me out, it’s actually a pretty smart move.

For us at Sensio, “simplicity is king”. So I do like the simple camera icon. Is it enough for me to associate it with the Instagram brand? No. It just looks like some random camera icon with some nice curves. But the Instagram people say they tried to imitate the colour gradients of a camera lens to remind us of the old logo.

instagram-design-review

That leaves us with a colourful, rainbow-like logo. Do I like it? Not really. Does it matter? Not really.

The truth of the matter is there are over 75 million people tapping on this icon every single day. It is only a matter of time until people get familiar and hooked again with the new logo.

I use the word “hooked” on purpose. I am sure you have already heard of the psychology of colors. Colours = emotions. Instagram has actually been very smart with their colour choices:

  • Yellow: Optimism
  • Orange: Friendliness
  • Red: Excitement
  • Purple: Creativity

This is a perfect recipe for a vintage app that has become a booming social media network.

But Instagram didn’t just stop at the purposeful colour selection. The “nice curves” I was talking about are also on purpose. Curves in design give a youthful appeal. Curves, circles, ovals project a positive emotional message. Using a circle in a logo suggests community, friendship, love, relationships and unity.

Another bonus point for Instagram’s new logo design.

I am sure nobody will ever talk about Instagram’s new logo next year. In fact, nobody will ever talk about it in the next three months. The beautiful interface makes up for the drastic logo change.

2. The new interface

My score: 5/5

Good-bye blue theme. I won’t miss you.

I am saying it again: “simplicity is king”. I am so happy about the new interface. It looks like this app we made: Personal Journal.

The interface is clean, simple, minimalistic. The colour-less approach lets the photos be the focus. The app finally allows users be fully creative with their content without having the tacky blue in their way (I cannot wait for Facebook to follow the lead – they have already started simplifying their look). The only negative here: our eyes hurt at night. A night time theme would be welcomed.

The icons for the buttons are thin. I can see those nice curves being used here again to keep it friendly. That is, to get us to use the app even longer (I am doomed!).
There isn’t much I can say about the interface. It is a 5/5. Some of you might not agree with me here. But it is ok. I think I will dedicate a new blog post about design some other day so we can have a discussion.

instagram-design-review

3. The app icon

My score: 2.5/5

This is a downer for me. In my opinion, icons should stand out from your collection of apps, not get lost within it.

instagram-design-review-screen

 

But then again, once you’re “hooked” you will find your way around pretty easily. Plus, if Instagram is one of your favorite apps, I am sure you will place it strategically on your screen so it stands out.

But I would have opted for this version for the app icon (below). The white background reminds me of the colour-less user interface, while the colourful gradients reminds me of the logo. A good trade-off, don’t you think?

instagram-new-logo-2016

In conclusion

My overall score: 3.7/5

I give an overall total score of 3.7 out of 5 for Instagram new look. The power of a logo to elicit an emotional response can have a resounding effect on the way users view a product, service or company. Instagram has done pretty well colour-wise and shape-wise to get us hooked.

The user interface has been toned-down significantly. Some might argue it is lifeless and lacks uniquess. But the focus is on the content, which I appreciate.

Finally, the redesign touches the unified set of app icons for Instagram’s three sister apps. Same thickness, same gradient, same layout within the app square. Simple, effective, and recognisable as a family.

instagram-new-look-2016

Overall, the visual system is more practical, usable and modern. And this redesign was probably the best advertising any app could hope for. It got everyone talking about it – even the non-Instagramers.

What do you think about the new look?

Alexandra