After months of hard work, our team was really excited to announce 1-1 video chat and screen sharing for all of the apps. However, that news was completely overshadowed by another change: a new logo and app icon.
This is our new logo and the controversial OS X app icon we released a few days ago:
|New logo||Controversial OS X icon|
The feedback was as plentiful as it was negative.
HipChat’s new icon on the Mac is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen.
— Mike Cohen (@mike3k) May 6, 2014
that’s one ugly updated hipchat icon — イゴール (@igorajdisek) May 6, 2014
@HipChat Used Time Machine to find the previous version of the app and switch to its good icon. I’m happy again.
— Rafael Fischmann (@rfischmann) May 6, 2014
There were hundreds of tweets about how ugly the icon was. Hundreds.
The weird thing is, we agree. So how did this happen?
The original goal of the new logo was to align it with the rest of the Atlassian tools. I think we achieved that and came up with a solid logo. The problem came with the implementation of the app icons themselves.
You could look at the feedback and say “people hate change” which is often true. But the problem here was that a large part of our team feels the exact same way as our users. There were two schools of thought when it came to the icon:
School #1 – “Consistency means the icon is the same on every device.”
School #2 – “Consistency means it pays homage to the style/design while respecting the look and feel of each OS.”
We fought. We argued. We gave each other the silent treatment, then argued some more. In the end, we chose option #1. But hey, if it sucks, we can fix it. We have zero problem admitting we made a mistake.
We made a mistake. The app icon sucks. Today we’re fixing it.
Lesson learned: respect the design guidelines and recommendations put forth by each operating system, even if you have to sacrifice your own internal guidelines. No one wants to see an OS X icon that looks like it belongs on iPhone, and people certainly don’t want to see an Android app with an iOS style icon. The part that made me both happy and sad was that people on Twitter proposed an alternative design, and it’s almost the exact app icon that we decided not to use in the first place (and I have the PSD’s to prove it!).
Here’s the the new app icon we’re releasing today for the desktop apps:
It may seem that having hundreds of tweets shitting on your icon is a bad thing. Sure – it bummed us out, but it means our customers are passionate and they fucking care. It also means our team members that argued for the ugly icon have to buy the rest of the team a big box of apology donuts.
So let us know what you think of the new icons. I can’t promise we won’t make mistakes in the future, but I can guarantee we’ll own up to them and make things right.