Published: Sat, December 01, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Microsoft’s new Office icons are a familiar idea in simpler new form

Microsoft’s new Office icons are a familiar idea in simpler new form

This initiative is also part of Microsoft's reflection that represents how much the Office family of apps have evolved over the past five years since the icons last received an update.

"As a signal to our customers, we've evolved our Office icons to reflect these significant product changes", Jon Friedman, head of Microsoft Office design wrote in a blog post.

Once an observer gets past the inherent confusion of a Microsoft executive annoucing that Office Mobile apps were being put on the shelf, they will enjoy a new pen-related color radial similar to the OneNote mobile radial introduced a couple of years ago. Each of the new Microsoft Office app icons will be rolling out over the next few months. The new icons for Office 365 have been created to embrace the history of Office while giving them a "bolder, lighter and friendlier" look. Traditionally, the letter occupied two-thirds of the icon, and the symbol took up one-third. Microsoft says it wants to have a common design language that transcends platforms yet easily recognizable. Windows Fluent Design will be incorporated into the Office suite to match the over all look and feel of Windows 10.

The changes hint at some of the coming changes to the Microsoft Office productivity suite.

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To that end, Microsoft's "design solution" was to "decouple the letter and the symbol in the icons".

The new designs definitely look more modern and even fun. We also used gestalt principles to further emphasize key product changes. The design changes to Office go beyond just the icons, however.

The video showed off apps like Photos, Mail, Calculator, Calendar, File Explorer, and Microsoft News with the new iconography style on the Start Menu, and they actually look really good. Outlook Mobile, in particular, is getting overhauled with support for shared mailboxes and updated gestures.

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