For years, the icons on Facebook have stayed the same. Last year it updated the notifications globe to be less America-centric. Depending on what region you’re viewing Facebook from, you’ll either see an Europe-centric globe, an Asia-centric globe or the original America-centric version. Now, Facebook has finally updated its people icons and it’s all due to one designer, Caitlin Winner.

Winner was looking at the icons one day when she realized the female icon had a chip in her shoulder. Literally, a chunk was missing from her shoulder where the man fit in for the "friends" icon. So Winner redesigned the icon, giving her full shoulders and real hair instead of “the Darth Vader-like helmet.”


Winner also designed a non-binary icon because she thought there were many “cases where a gendered icon was inappropriate.” However, her biggest accomplishment has been her redesign of the "friends" icon.

“As a woman, educated at a women’s college, it was hard not to read into the symbolism of the current icon; the woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in,” says Winner. So now the woman stands front and center, with the man icon to one side and the non-binary icon to the other.


A small change in design, but it sure does change the the symbolism behind the image. Winner plans to continue challenging the designs of icons at Facebook and hopefully Facebook accepts those changes as willingly as it has accepted others. Read about Winner's changes here.


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Images courtesy of Caitlin Winner