I’m quickly going to put my designer and branding hat on for a second here, so bear with me.
So Twitter bought the best iPhone Twitter app, Tweetie 2, and has relaunched it Twitter for iPhone. We all got that? Good. What a couple of people are upset about with the update, is Twitter’s choice of icon. This bird with its ugly blue gradient background and drop shadow FTW (not). The blue doesn’t even match the light blue hue of Twitter’s logo.
You see, Tweetie 2 had this gorgeous speech bubble icon, deep set within a grey background. It looked sexy, was recognisable and fitted in with the entire look and feel of the app. It sat proudly on my iPhone’s homescreen and I would of paid even more than $2.99 for the app – it’s that awesome.
I’m not upset with the fact its gone. I knew it would change, but what I wasn’t expecting was that ugly thing they call an icon, replacing it. Worse still are the reasons from the designers about why. Read the comments on this Dribbble post from some designers on the new icon. (Included is a shot of what was supposedly the Tweetie 3 icon. Nice.).
for reasons I won’t get into (or can’t, depending how you read that), we opted for the one that’s there now. – Mark Otto
Tweetie was acquired because we noted how many people were searching the App Store for “Twitter” and wound up in total confusion over which app to download. We wanted something that was not only named Twitter, but looked like Twitter to *new* users. In that regard, there was a conscious decision that the app did not need to look like an evolution of Tweetie, but rather, something that looked like an official Twitter app. – Doug Bowman
If the reason for the new icon was so that people wouldn’t be confused when trying to find Twitter on their iPhone, why did they not go for an icon with the “t” in Twitter? The official app on a Blackberry uses the “t” as a icon. So why not on iPhone?
Also, Twitter don’t place much significance on that bird. Go and look at Twitter.com’s homepage. That tiny bird is in a shade of grey and all the way on the right, compared to the massive light blue Twitter logo. That little bird isn’t even on a person’s profile page. The other thing is, there are so many variations of a blue bird floating about representing Twitter, that no matter what the “official” twitter bird logo is, it won’t ever stand out.
What I’m trying to get at is that whatever Twitter’s decision regarding their version of the icon, it still doesn’t look like the real deal. It fits in perfectly alongside all the other custom, 3rd party Twitter apps. How does that differentiate the app then? The only thing *new* users will differentiate the app by is its name – Twitter for iPhone. So whatever “business/design decision” it was, it wasn’t the right one in my book.