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New Facebook ‘Friends’ Icon Celebrates Gender Equality

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Facebook Design Manager shows the old (left) and new (right) friends icons as well as the many drafted hairstyles for the female icon. Photos were lifted from Medium.com and were edited.

In a bid to rid sexist symbolisms and promote gender equality in Facebook, the social media giant has made a minor tweak on the ?Friends? icon that appears on the top right of users? homepage.

?The woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man,? said Facebook Design Manager Caitlin Winner said on Medium. Winner found it unbearable to not look into the symbolism of the icon so she adjusted the size and order of the silhouettes.

Winner originally wanted to draw a double silhouette that was of the same size without indicating who was in the foreground. But she gave up. ?I placed the lady, slightly smaller, in front of the man,? Winner said after she abandoned ?dozens of iterations? of her work as she continuously made an icon that looked like a ?two headed mythical beast?.

Woman With A Chipped Shoulder

Winner was also bothered with the icon of the woman who had a chip in her shoulder. Even though Winner assumed that the icon was made without ill intentions, especially when she figured that chip would be place of the woman?s ?friends? icon, she thought that it was done with a ?lack of consideration?. ??as a lady with two robust shoulders, the chip offended me,? she said.

Winner was also responsible for removing the ?Darth Vader-like helmet? and putting modern and youthful shapely bob instead.

Winner also tweaked the groups icon which showed a man in the foreground and a man and a woman behind him. ?It was an obvious refresh to use three unique silhouettes instead and, here again, I placed the lady first,? Winner said.

Winner said Facebook shipped her icons ?without much fanfare?. Even before Winner, it wasn’t new for Facebook to change its logos.

Symbols Not Only For Sexes

Winner said that symbols not only matters with gender but also with other topics. She noticed this after she found out that a fellow designer tweaked the icon of a glove to include non-American parts of the glove.

Winner asked: ??is the briefcase the best symbol for work? Which population carried briefcase the best symbol for ?work?? Which population carried briefcases and in which era? What are other ways that ?work? could be symbolized and what would those icons evoke for the majority of people on Earth??

Winner continues to strive to ensure that Facebook to be ?the best it can be?. May it be about icons again about sexism and equality like in her previous work, Winner would ?love? to hear more insights.

This is only one of the few changes that Facebook is putting in their interface.?In a tweet, Facebook graphic designer Christophe Tauziet unveiled the new FB logo?with the caption, ?Say hello to the new Facebook logo.? He also stated that the logo will appear ?soon,? but did not elaborate.

?The most noticeable alteration is the ?a? changing from a double-storey to a single-storey version. The edges are of the text are sharper and there is a noticeable increase in width. The ?b? now has a terminal stem and resembles fonts used in popular word applications.

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