The Instagram update of May 2016

I looked at my phone this morning and noticed something different. A bright pink icon screamed for attention amid a sea of apps on my screen. What is that? I thought to myself, it must be a mistake, some kind of error. No, it was Instagram, and they’d updated their logo.

I opened the application keen to see new features and updates to the user experience. Had the ideas I’d written about been adopted?

The base navigation had been given the flat design treatment and the icons tweaked slightly, but no changes to the home screen functionality or experience. I tapped the heart icon hoping to see my direct messages integrated with the activity on my posts and the posts the people I follow like. Again, no change. The search page, my profile page, nothing new. Finally, I took a photo thinking I’d be sure to see some updates, but still no difference.

Old vs. New

It was a re-skin! No updates to the layout or the functionality, just a new logo and colour scheme. I was disappointed, I was confused. Why would the Instagram team spend time and money on a facelift? Why wouldn’t they update the interface or add new functionality?

I took some time to reflect and started to see the positives in the updates. The new logo is eye catching, it’s original, it stands out from the crowd. At first I hated the gradient style background but after a closer look, I can see it resembles a lens flare and I kind of like it. The minimal flat design with black, gray and white palette works. It puts the focus on the photos and makes them stand out, which makes perfect sense.

Instagram have chosen a new aesthetic over an improved experience. I can understand why they would do this, however, as a user and a person with a passion for user experience, I feel this is a safe move for the company. I think the app could be improved and I hope that now the new logo and design has been released, the team can concentrate on improving the experience.

Thanks for reading.

Tom Connelly

Tom Connelly Written by:

I'm digital a project manager with a passion for producing quality digital products. In my spare time I enjoy producing music, visiting art galleries, reading, and writing.