Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

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Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:34 am

Now that AOO 3.4.1 is about to be released, we should perhaps talk again about branding (especially icons for the documents).

With the 3.2.1 version, the old icons for both the applications and the documents have been changed to a new set (refresh). Main concept was the introduction of the orb and the removal of the colors that were used until then. Only the blue color had been kept to indicate an ODF file format. This change, introduced by the OOo team was rather astonishing and many users disagreed. With AOO 3.4.0, the old set of icons has been re-activated (except the main icon with the orb).

As the main problem with the new icons set (refresh) was the color, perhaps there is a solution somewhere between the old colored set and the new more modern look.

Some links:
Old set of icons: All MimeType Icons :: Applications, Documents & Templates of OpenOffice.org 3.0
.odt: Image, .ods: Image, .odp: Image

The color explanation: The Galaxy Icons:: MimeType Icons, Color Language.
The rebranding page: Visual Design, UI and Branding.
And the new ODF icons: The ODF Mime Type Icons. The page for the whole set is not available anymore (http://odftoolkit.org/ODF-Icons).
But they are still available on Wikipedia:
.odt: Image, .ods: Image, .odp: Image
With some rationale: Unified ODF Icons - Specification.

Here is my proposal, roughly mixing the the new icons with the old colors:
.odt: Image, .ods: Image, .odp: Image
The .odt version is not that good since we don"t really see the blue color. But I'm not a designer, that's just to see if this kind of proposal gets some popularity or not.

But also some other proposal:
- Drew's icons in the topic: New Icons ... I don't like them:
Image

- vea1083 icons (same topic as above):
Image

For the record, the current rebranding page: Apache OpenOffice product and project name decision & next steps.
And the LibreOffice icons that looks not that bad: TDF wiki - Design/Whiteboards/LibreOffice Initial Icons

Additional links:
- Initial discussion on the ooo-dev mailing list
- Rework of the unified ODF icons by I-team (with an interesting proposal to reintroduce the colors as badges.

Any thoughts???
Attachments
ODF_textdocument_48x48_Hagar.png
ODF_textdocument_48x48_Hagar.png (2.05 KiB) Viewed 11359 times
ODF_spreadsheet_48x48_Hagar.png
ODF_spreadsheet_48x48_Hagar.png (2.11 KiB) Viewed 11359 times
ODF_presentation_48x48_Hagar.png
ODF_presentation_48x48_Hagar.png (2.1 KiB) Viewed 11359 times
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Re: Rebranding (AOO icons for applications and documents)

Postby kingfisher » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:31 am

I liked the old colourful icons. This is one set I have kept (size 48x48):
openofficeorg3 base
Image
openofficeorg3 calc
Image
openofficeorg3 draw
Image
openofficeorg3 impress
Image
openofficeorg3 math
Image
openofficeorg3 printeradmin
Image
openofficeorg3 writer
Image

This is a link to the gallery.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Jul 24, 2012 8:56 am

Sorry, I meant the documents icons in fact, more than the application icons. I've edited my first post.

Application icons is not that important IMHO. The most important is the way users find their documents on their machine. Before the filename, we usually rely first on the look of the icons, especially to differentiate document type (text/spreadsheet/presentation). Then to differentiate them from the other applications.

Look at the PDF icon for example, it's rather easy to spot them in a folder: a white page with a red label top left of the icon. I think that the idea of the refreshed icons was to achieve the same kind of concept: tag a sleek icon with a similar blue label. The problem is that the color (blue/green/orange) is very useful when you have different ODF files. So the file identification should not be detrimental to the user experience.

As for the applications icons, note that the current main application is based on the orb and therefore is not consistent with the other applications, based on the old rectangular shapes.

NB: I've added some materials in the first post.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby kingfisher » Tue Jul 24, 2012 1:41 pm

I see what you mean now. I never open documents that way. Now that I have looked at the file manager I see that the document icons are nondescript and indistinguishable without a microscope. I like your proposals. The more distinctive the icons are the better. At least one issue was filed about icons; I don't know what became of it.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby jza » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:23 am

Here is my proposal, roughly mixing the the new icons with the old colors:
Image.odt: , Image.ods: , Image.odp:
The .odt version is not that good since we don"t really see the blue color. But I'm not a designer, that's just to see if this kind of proposal gets some popularity or not.


Also a more colorful option was added by jakobkramer:
newODF_spreadsheet_48x48_v2-1.png
A more colorful option
newODF_spreadsheet_48x48_v2-1.png (2.45 KiB) Viewed 10889 times
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby acknak » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:54 pm

kingfisher wrote:I see what you mean now. I never open documents that way. Now that I have looked at the file manager I see that the document icons are nondescript and indistinguishable without a microscope. ...

Absolutely. I never even see them.

I'm not against making the icons more distinctive, but it's not really a solution to the problem. Frankly, I'm sad to see people so dependent on the icons for managing their files--it's very inefficient, in my experience.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby RoryOF » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:03 pm

I'm like Kingfisher and acknak - I use meaningful names. Using a name is like being able to go into a library and ask for a specic book; using the icon is like going in to the library and asking for a red book. But if colourful icons keep users happy...
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby jza » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:06 pm

So I get the sense that not many people are so "invested" into how the iconset look like. So I think we can move on from this topic and go with Hagar's proposal of icons.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby RoryOF » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:08 pm

I think a better interpretation is that the icons don't matter very much to some of us, but that we wouldn't stand in the way of a change brought about by those to whom they do matter.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby jza » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:10 pm

Right, but we try to reach a decision here.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby acknak » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:16 pm

I agree with Rory's summary.

I'd rather that people weren't so dependent on the icon appearance, but I'm not going to insist that they work differently. Making the "ODF" tag prominent is important but also coloring the icons seems like a reasonable compromise to me.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby Ed2 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:29 pm

RoryOF wrote:I'm like Kingfisher and acknak - I use meaningful names. Using a name is like being able to go into a library and ask for a specic book; using the icon is like going in to the library and asking for a red book. But if colourful icons keep users happy...


If you know the book you need is the one and only red book and every other book in the whole library is blue then it would be much easier to find than if you have to individually read the titles of every single identical looking book.

Similarly if you need to find the only spreadsheet file in a folder full of text documents then looking for the green icon among all the other blue icons is far more efficient than individually reading every single file name. One name in a list of names will never be as instantly recognisable as a contrasting patch of colour.

acknak wrote:I'm not against making the icons more distinctive, but it's not really a solution to the problem. Frankly, I'm sad to see people so dependent on the icons for managing their files--it's very inefficient, in my experience.


What's "very inefficient" about being able to instantly recognise which files are of the right type before you even start reading their names?

It is more efficient to be able to instantly recognise which files are the right type and only have to read those file names than it is to have to read the name of every single file because you have no idea what type any of them are.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:57 pm

Ed2 wrote:It is more efficient to be able to instantly recognise which files are the right type and only have to read those file names than it is to have to read the name of every single file because you have no idea what type any of them are.

+10.
At work, I've folders dedicated to specific subjects that can contain spreadsheets, text documents (including PDF), pics and so on. They belong to those specific subjects so I can't separate them. So file recognition through file type is a must. Very often, there are only few instances of each file type (or even a single one), it is then very easy to spot the file we are looking for with their mere colors.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby acknak » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:04 pm

I appreciate what you're saying; everyone's entitled to work however they're comfortable. I don't use the icons; I never search visually for a file. It feels inefficient watching my friends work that way. Just my opinion.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby Ed2 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:24 pm

acknak wrote:I appreciate what you're saying; everyone's entitled to work however they're comfortable. I don't use the icons; I never search visually for a file. It feels inefficient watching my friends work that way. Just my opinion.


You're entitled to work however you feel comfortable, but that doesn't mean working in a different way to you is "very inefficient". In this case the exact opposite is actually true, looking for a different coloured icon is far more efficient than individually reading every single file name.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby RoryOF » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:34 pm

We remember the names; they are meaningful names in my case, filed under categories in date order. There are different methods of work for different people, as you point out. If one is only working with a small number of files, or even only one in a category, then the coloured icon becomes the method of choice. But if one has many files, and is of a certain age and training, the filename or document title becomes of more importance. In any case none of us are objecting to a redesign of the icons.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby acknak » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:12 pm

Ed2 wrote:... looking for a different coloured icon is far more efficient than individually reading every single file name.

I don't recall suggesting that as a good approach, but just to be clear, that's not what I'm talking about.

Please, work however you like. There's no point in arguing about it.
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby Ed2 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:57 pm

acknak wrote:
Ed2 wrote:... looking for a different coloured icon is far more efficient than individually reading every single file name.

I don't recall suggesting that as a good approach, but just to be clear, that's not what I'm talking about.

Please, work however you like. There's no point in arguing about it.


What exactly is your approach to finding a file, if it doesn't depend on either looking at the icons or reading the file names?
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby RGB » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:00 am

Can we, please, return to the main topic (mime type icons)?

If you want to discuss the best possible workflow with your file manager, please open a new thread on "General discussion", maybe there I'll tell you how I use fsrunner ;)

Thanks
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby jza » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:11 am

I see two major topics to consider on the MIME icons:
    * Color
    * Design

Is clear many users didn't agree on color. Yet nobody complain on the design. There are several versions of color icons, the only choice is to move to which one should we adopt. A full colorful iconset, or a partially colorized iconset.

The way the application iconset been designed is to have a round 'orb-like' shape, while documents having a 2 rectangle shape (Impress having a horizontal layout).
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby ChrisTi » Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:21 pm

Hagar Delest wrote:Here is my proposal, roughly mixing the the new icons with the old colors:
.odt: Image, .ods: Image, .odp: Image
The .odt version is not that good since we don"t really see the blue color. But I'm not a designer, that's just to see if this kind of proposal gets some popularity or not.

But also some other proposal:
- Drew's icons in the topic: New Icons ... I don't like them:
Image

- vea1083 icons (same topic as above):
Image

For the record, the current rebranding page: Apache OpenOffice product and project name decision & next steps.
And the LibreOffice icons that looks not that bad: TDF wiki - Design/Whiteboards/LibreOffice Initial Icons

Additional links:
- Initial discussion on the ooo-dev mailing list
- Rework of the unified ODF icons by I-team (with an interesting proposal to reintroduce the colors as badges.

Any thoughts???

Hi. I'm a bit late here. I also would like to have distinctive ODF files icons by using both color and design. I also would find it reasonable if color and symbols don't differ too much versus other big Office Suites (LibreOffice, MSO).
Going in detail of my personal preference I like the first proposal, but would also color the ODF label. I like the discussion style here.

P.S.: see also my idea about a possible Clean flat style (#11) in AOO 4.x - Logo Explorations
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Re: Rebranding MIME types (AOO icons for documents)

Postby ambparker » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:58 pm

As the main problem with the new icons set (refresh) was the color, perhaps there is a solution somewhere between the old colored set and the new more modern look.
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