Microsoft upgrades the Share icon in latest Windows 10 build 15031

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Microsoft today pushed out Windows 10 build 15031 to Windows Insiders in the PC Fast Ring. While the build had the usual fare share of known issues, and also introduced a few new features, and fixes, build 15031 also brings an upgraded share icon.

The details on the new icon were shared here on by Paula Chuchro, a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft. According to Chuchro, the previous share icon (present in regular production Windows 10 builds,) got the team thinking if it visually represented and conveyed sharing in the best way. She explains,

From data in our usability labs, we’ve consistently seen people misunderstanding or looking past the icon in the user interface, especially when a label didn’t accompany it…. At the heart of it, we just want everyone to be able to easily share…. With this in mind, we set out to explore a new share icon design… We wanted everyone to discover it, interpret it, and utilize it, without any confusion or clunky translation. Instantaneous, intuitive iconography.


Share Icons
Share Icons

At the end of the day, the team settled for an icon which was more familiar, and also benefited from “ubiquity and familiarity.” In the process, several icons were A/B tested against old icons, and eventually, the new one was chosen since it performed best in testing, and since it made the team confident that they were making a significant change that would benefit millions of Windows users. It is explained,

“The best performing icon was our new icon, a rectangle housing a swooping arrow that indicates motion out of the rectangle. An exit, a movement, a share from one point to another…. We believe an icon can be successful in two important ways. When it’s a meaningful icon, it’s a pretty literal representation. The icon does what it says it will do because it calls upon a real-world object or action… An icon can also be successful in a ubiquitous way — something that’s universally accepted as a true representation regardless of its symbolic meaning”

New Share Icon Windows 10
New Share Icon Windows 10

The new icon, a rectangle housing a swooping arrow that indicates motion out of the rectangle, will show up in Windows apps in the latest build. Do you like the new share Icon? Sound off to Microsft by sending feedback to the feedback hub, and let us know what you think by dropping us a comment below!