Some icons assume familiarity with other OS

Bug #1358050 reported by Mark Curtis
This bug affects 8 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Canonical System Image
Ubuntu UX
Matthieu James
ubuntu-themes (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Attached is a comparison between Windows, Android, iOS(6) and tentative Ubuntu icons. The first 3 application icons bare a striking similarity to the IOS(6) equivalent while the last to Google Maps.

The browser icon assumes familiarity with Safari, or possibly Webkit. A user unfamiliar with them may see a compass and map and assume a map.

The bigger issue being that the icons are so close to the iOS/Google ones that it may give the appearance of Ubuntu being a cheap knockoff, or worse, be vulnerable to a lawsuit. Apple has sued Samsung over a similar situation before.

There are other ways of communicating those apps, which is shown in the Alternate column. These are not meant to be replacements, I'm no designer. They are merely illustrations of a different concept for the icons so as to not be too similar to Apple and Google's offereing:

What was wrong with the earlier globe version?

Why not a "divide by" button rather than "equal", make all buttons an Ubuntu orange squircle?

How about a rolodex? Yes people won't be familiar with them, but if they see a contact and information that should be enough

A treasure map would be a very different way of going about it.

Related branches

Revision history for this message
Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in ubuntu-themes (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
Ads20000 (ads20000) wrote :

Nice graphic! I agree with the first three (I haven't seen rolodex's often but I deffo understand that icon). Not sure about the treasure map, I think a normal map is fine, Ubuntu's just needs to be more differentiated. I suppose they have to be a little careful they don't overuse the Ubuntu orange as well, we need different colours for different apps. Maybe Ubuntu could figure out different colours for different sets of apps?

Revision history for this message
Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

I want to comment that an article was posted on OMG! Ubuntu! about solely the browser icon and that alone has been getting a lot of interest.

Changed in canonical-devices-system-image:
status: New → Confirmed
Paty Davila (dizzypaty)
Changed in ubuntu-ux:
assignee: nobody → Matthieu James (tiheum)
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → Low
Revision history for this message
Alan Bell (alanbell) wrote :

seriously? you are going to wilfully infringe on registered trademarks, you have been offered alternative suggestions and accepting them is low priority?
What can the community do to sort this out? I have done two merge requests with different browser icons, both were rejected. The design team clearly don't want to address it, so we have a "patches not welcome" situation. Where do we go from here? Is looking like a cheap knockoff a design goal?

Revision history for this message
Andrea Bernabei (faenil) wrote :

Hi Alan,
we're trying to clear the backlog of unassigned bugs that affect Ubuntu-UX, please bear with us as we go through them and try to improve the situation.

The designer working on this has just been assigned to this bug. I'm sure he will provide more information when he gets to it ;)

Contributions are always very welcome, as far as I can tell :)

Olivier Tilloy (osomon)
Changed in ubuntu-ux:
status: Triaged → In Progress
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