Not So User-Friendly

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

In the early 2000s, the Mac lacked a top-notch web browser. It shipped with a woefully-outdated version of Internet Explorer. This eventually led Apple to introduce their own web browser, Safari, in 2003. Throughout its history, Safari has featured a fairly detailed compass icon. Its current icon can be seen below:

The Old Safari Compass
Safari’s Current Icon

Apple is currently working on their next major operating system update, Mac OS X 10.10 (also known as “Yosemite”). As part of that update, Apple is changing the visual style of their app icons, including Safari. They’re toning down the realism, and going for a simplified appearance. Take a look:

A Comparison of the Contacts and Notes Icons
Old “Contacts” and “Notes” Icons on the Left; New Icons on the Right

The simplification generally works well. These new icons are still recognizable as representations of real-world objects, without unnecessary embellishments or detail. However, Safari’s new icon is somewhat problematic. Have a gander:

The New Safari Compass
Safari’s New Icon

If this existed in the real world, it would perhaps be the most frustrating compass ever made.


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