When brands release new icons and logos, previously-loyal customers often groan with frustration.
This happened when Instagram changed its app icon at the start of May. The flatter, more abstract design was described as possibly “one of the biggest design fails of the year,” by Adweek.
However, the industry trade title was wrong, according to new analysis from Dragonfly — a design analysis app created by Black Swan and researchers from Queen Mary University, London.
The new logo is actually 10% more engaging to the human eye than its predecessor, according to the app.
Dragonfly uses a computational model to process the visual characteristics of what someone is looking at (orientation, contrast, texture, luminance) to assign a stimulus attention score to every pixel, demonstrating its attractiveness. The resulting graphics are heatmaps that display what grabs human attention in the first three seconds of interaction.
Business Insider asked Dragonfly to analyse the old and new logos of ten major brands, giving each a saliency score out of 100. Below are the results:
Instagram's old logo has a mediocre saliency score of 58. Dragonfly suggested that it relied on 'nostalgia' and that much of its saliency relied on the 'Insta' text, offset against the lighter background.
The new, controversial logo has a more impressive saliency score of 68. It is 'more impactful' according to Dragonfly, with the 'bright gradient of colours interrupted by the white outline of a camera,' drawing eyes to the center of the image.
However, Google's new logo dropped two points to 65, which Dragonfly said is a result of lack of a loop in the second 'g,' which apparently draws the eye.
Uber's old logo with a white 'u' on a black background is described as 'impactful' by Dragonfly, giving it a good saliency score of 63.
However, Uber's new logo is much less attractive, according to Dragonfly. So it has a saliency score of just 53.
Airbnb's new logo is almost as good, with a saliency score of 75. Airbnb's strong performance could be linked to its founders' background in art and design.
Twitter's old bird logo may have a larger beak than the new version, but it scored just 47 on Dragonfly's saliency analysis.
Twitter's new logo came out better, with a saliency score of 58. The beak is more of a focal point in the new bird, and it lacks the distracting feathers on the top of its head.
Its new logo is a slight improvement, rising to 69. The 'deeper colour of purple with added shadowing makes it crisper to the eye,' according to Dragonfly.
The new Facebook logo has only undergone minor changes. However, the slightly finer font, with the more curved 'a' knocked its saliency score slightly down to 79.
Beer brand Coors Light's old logo scored an impressive 73. This is down to the 'tightly packed' text which 'draws focus,' according to Dragonfly.
The new Coors Light logo is much worse, according to the analysis, scoring just 57. The wider logo 'quickly gets washed out.'
With this white highlighting removed, Paypal's new logo's saliency falls to 66. Also, the lighter shade of blue in the new logo makes it 'slightly washed out.'
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.