The new icons that began propagating across the Google universe last week are having an impact on how I work.

Previously each application was a different color, so I could easily just look for a color and not really pay attention to the shape of the icon or the words in the label. It was so easy to use, I even deleted the words from my bookmarks. I know the icons. Mail was red, calendar was blue, Drive was was blue yellow green but still clearly different from the calendar and mail. Meet and Maps did it too, so now they’re all rainbow and at a glance they’re all the same. I have to actually pay attention to the shape and some of the color blurs into my background color on my Chrome theme so I can’t see it that well. This is really messing up my workflow. There were three layers of identification, in order of how quickly my brain picked on them was color, then shape, and then a word. Now I actually have to stop and think. Even though it’s just for a split second, it’s still a step backwards for Google UX.

…it’s a step backwards for Google UX.

Google is the one that used to tout the value of using color to help quickly identify things. This resonated with me and most of the G Suite users I trained. The labels in your inbox make it so much faster to, at a glance know what the email categories are. We don’t even have to read the text on the labels. We recognize color faster than anything else.

It’s seems that Google has forgotten their own fundamentally smart user experience.