Icons are a huge part of the design in an OS. How do you feel about the BlackBerry 10 icons?
When BlackBerry 10 details started emerging there was a lot of debate about the icons being used. Many folks hated them and thought they should be redesigned. As we got closer to launch the icons were changed and some people who once hated the design found they liked the new ones better.
That's not to say everyone liked them though, and with recent talks surrounding the huge change to the design in iOS 7, the debate about whether or not the BlackBerry 10 icons should be revamped yet again has come up in the CrackBerry forums. So, in the spirit of brainstorming BlackBerry 10 and future changes, I figured we should have a look at some of the thoughts folks are sharing.
Is it possible to switch the icon design on BB10? As a iPhone and Blackberry user I must say that the BB10 design looks like something from the first generation Android phones.
Personally speaking, I'm not overly fond of the icon design either and I really kind of wish BlackBerry had stuck with the 'old design', as seen here. I don't mean those icons specifically, those could have been polished up, but their design is more in tune with what I like. The current design blocks out a lot of the background due to the boxes around the icons and as such using a wallpaper or personal image is kind of out of the question unless you move icons around and essentially force it to work. But not everyone agrees with that either, because for some, the boxes are a quite useful and well utilized design element. Some folks like how they sort of act like a chameleon and blend in.
The boxes I don't mind, and I understand and appreciate their usefulness - they unify the icons, provide a backdrop for the icon text to be legible even on light backgrounds.
A huge part of owning a smartphone is customizing its looks. People enjoy the ability to do that; there's really no doubt about it. Because of the current design, I've dubbed a straight up black wallpaper as the best BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 wallpaper ever because it hides the surrounding boxes and just gives me straight up icons. Sadly, it gets a bit bland after a while when I know if the icon design was different I could have a much better wallpaper.
Do you really need to see a high-quality work of art for the 1/4 second between identifying the app you want and your finger tapping the icon?
Although there are plenty of folks out there who think 'who cares, they're just icons?', there's a lot of work that goes into designing these elements. The right fonts, the right interactions, and those moments of charm have to be right. It's the reason BlackBerry provides all developers with their HIG (Human Interface Guidelines) right on the BlackBerry Developer website. They know design is a crucial part of making it all work and ultimately selling devices. If a device doesn't look appealing, then how are you supposed to sell it? For a lot of folks, icons and design speak volumes.
So with all that being said and knowing that BlackBerry 10 is an evolving operating system for BlackBerry, how do you folks feel about the icons and the icon design? Should it all be revamped in a later BlackBerry 10 build, or are they fine just the way they are? Should BlackBerry be putting more emphasis on design, not only for themselves but also enforcing some of those design rules on developers? I know I'd like to see some of that because honestly, if I see an app in BlackBerry World using a terrible icon, there's a good chance I'm going to pass it over and not even try it out. Design is the face of your product.
How do you feel about the icons and the design on BlackBerry 10, should it changed? How does it compare to others on the market?