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Twitter Rearranges Deck Chairs on Titanic

Twitter’s design team, explaining why they changed the default new user avatar from an egg to a bland silhouette:

We’ve noticed patterns of behavior with accounts that are created only to harass others — often they don’t take the time to personalize their accounts. This has created an association between the default egg profile photo and negative behavior, which isn’t fair to people who are still new to Twitter and haven’t yet personalized their profile photo.

This is so ridiculous that a lot of people suspected it was an April Fool’s gag. The problem is the actual harassment, not the egg icons. Changing the icon doesn’t affect the actual problem at all.

And it’s a bad idea. The egg was something Twitter owned. It fit marvelously with their brand. Their icon is a bird. Their “new tweet” button shows a feather. The egg felt totally Twitter. This new silhouette looks like it came out of a stock icon set.

(There is some interesting stuff in this post about the work they did to make the silhouette feel gender-neutral rather than male.)

Saturday, 1 April 2017