Facebook Goes ‘Ladies First’ With It’s New Icon For Friend Requests

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Who among us wouldn’t like to work at Facebook? The chilled out environment, the unlimited scope of creativity and the opportunity to be a part of something that is a quintessential part of most people’s life.

So, when Caitilin Winner joined the organisation she was as excited as one could be. She is a design manager with Facebook and a painter. A few days later, while being engrossed in her work she realized that the icon representing people on Facebook was a little disoriented. The woman had a chip on her shoulder and the silhouette of the hair made her look more like Darth Vader than like a woman.

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She also realized that the chip on the shoulder did not matter earlier as the woman was placed behind the man in the friends’ icon, hence, getting oversdadowed. She couldn’t help but read behind the symbol, and that constantly made her feel uneasy.

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On sharing her issue with another designer, she got the reply, “Nothing at Facebook is someone else’s problem.”

And hence began Caitilin’s journey of giving the icons a new look. She not just gave the female icon a new hairstyle but also changed the male icon’s hairstyle to a better look and retouched the icon for neutral gender.

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The next in line was the group icon that earlier featured two males and a female with the female overshadowed by the two male figures, which were later replaced by the new icons.

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Her friends at work soon joined in and started doing their bit by updating the file all over the network to look the same.

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And as it turns out, this kind of self-initiated project is not unique at Facebook. Last year, another designer Julyanne Liang worked with engineer Brian Jew to give the non-American half of the globe an accurate world view from the notification icon. Since then they’ve added an Asia-centric globe, too.


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The process hasn’t stopped here. Following the open-minded work ethics and brand personality of Facebook, now they are planning to change the ‘work’ symbol as well. The symbol currently represents a briefcase, which in the present generation of divergent jobs cannot be sufficient.

The team is open to ideas and you can send yours at [email protected]

That’s why we so admire Facebook!

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