PSA: Windows 10 Is Getting A Massive Facelift

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PSA: Windows 10 Is Getting A Massive Facelift
Image: <a href="https://medium.com/microsoft-design/iconic-icons-designing-the-world-of-windows-5e70e25e5416">Microsoft</a>

Windows 10 will soon be getting a host of new system icons, giving the operating system’s look a much-needed refresh (in advance of Windows 10X). The icons are slowly showing up in test builds of Windows 10, and you can check them out early if you’re a Windows Insider.

If you don’t want to deal with betas, the best you’ll be able to do is gawk at the entire suite of new designs from afar—until they finally hit Windows 10 proper, which should be soon.

I think the new designs look great; The monochromatic silhouettes introduced in 2015 have been replaced by colourful and expressive shapes. Unfortunately, not everyone is stoked on the refreshed look. But it’s not the new icons that are the big issue, rather, your Start Menu’s single-colour backgrounds.

Your Start Menu’s background colour is normally set by the accent colour of your Windows theme, and it dynamically changes whenever you adjust the setting or update your desktop image. These new icons are using the same blue background regardless of your settings (because of course a Windows update would make things worse somehow).

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Idiosyncrasies like this are common for Windows Insider builds and I suspect they’ll be fixed by the time the new icons roll out publicly. (Microsoft plans to include them in the big Windows 10X update later this year.)

If you’ve received the updated icons and they’re making Windows look bad enough that you’re willing to abandon you current desktop theme, try changing your background image and/or adjusting your Windows theme’s accent colour by right-clicking your desktop and selecting Personalise > Colours. This should help the new icons fit in better—either by allowing you to match the unchanging blue as close as you can, or by helping you find a decent complementary colour.

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Comments

  • Icons?? For goodness sake! Microsoft keeps changing minor things like the design of Office Ribbons and buttons that affects the productivity of 100’s of millions of people for no reason. With each revision we now have to hunt for standard features on the ever-increasingly-bland Ribbons, yet functionality and accuracy of ‘standard’ features has been on the decline since 2010 … e.g. in the drawing suite: nudging objects with keyboard arrows no longer moves items in a straight line, using multiple complex objects is now a nightmare requiring long re-calculations (and I have a modern laptop, top line GPU, and 32GB RAM).

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