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Google makes more accessible icons for Chrome

The company found that currently produces "unpleasant color vibrations."

If you've just downloaded the latest Canary release of Google Chrome, you've probably noticed the icons are different. This change marks the first time in eight years that Google has redesigned the symbol representing its iconic web browser. At first glance, it doesn't look any different, but there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. In a Twitter thread spotted by The Verge, Google designer Elvin Hu detailed the thought process that went into the redesign.

If you look closely, you'll see Google removed the shadow that was part of the icon, opting for a flatter design that goes hand in hand with the company's other products. It also changes the proportions of the symbols while brightening the individual colors that make up them. But the most impactful change the company introduced was that it added a subtle gradient to the green and red segments of the icon. Hu said the company found that certain shades of the two colors produced "unpleasant color vibrations" when placed next to each other. You can see a clearer example of the phenomenon Hu talks about on this website. Either way, the result of the change is a "more accessible" icon.

Depending on where you're using Chrome, you'll see additional subtle changes. That's because Hu says Google is spending time customizing icons to make them more at home on every operating system where you can download Chrome. On macOS, for example, symbols will look more three-dimensional. On iOS, meanwhile, there will be a special blueprint version of the icon associated with the beta release of the software. According to Hu, we will see a refreshed icon roll out over the next few months.