Microsoft unveils and discusses over 100 icon redesigns

Outlook and Edge on iOS
Outlook and Edge on iOS (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft's Jon Friedman discusses redesigning over 100 icons in a Medium post.
  • The post shows off several icons that have never been revealed as well as some icons that have already been implemented.
  • The icons required a large amount of effort to align with each other and the Fluent Design System.

Microsoft continues its push to refresh and unify the look of Windows 10. Last week, the Head of Microsoft Office design, Jon Friedman, discussed Microsoft's refreshed mobile icons. Now, Friedman shares the process of redesigning 100 icons in a Medium post. Redesigning these icons presented unique challenges, including making them work across devices and aligning them with each other and design guidelines.

Friedman called the process a "One Microsoft effort," which involves teams across Microsoft working together to stay aligned with each other. Friedman states, "Design teams across the company came together as a collective to develop design guidelines that encourage individuality while creating a cohesive whole." He adds that teams shared icons throughout the process as well as obstacles and successes.

The Fluent Design system is at the core of this effort from Microsoft. This system began on Windows 10 and now extends throughout Microsofts efforts across platforms. The redesigned icons needed to be created for both flat operating systems like Windows 10 and 3-D ones like Mixed Reality.

Many of the icons shown off in the post have already been revealed or implemented throughout Windows 10 and Microsoft's mobile apps, but there are some icons in the post that Microsoft's never shown before.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

21 Comments
  • I just don't understand the point.
  • The point is that MS has redesigned many icons and that it involved a lot of work.
  • I really like the redesigned Outlook icon. first saw it on my Galaxy S8 Android work phone.
  • I like the new MS style too. Much better than the previous flat icons in Windows or Material Design on Android.
  • Do you understand design? The point is collaboration and what was stated in the article about why the redesign.
  • @DRDiver Why doesn't that surprise me.
  • What do you mean by "mobile", mobile is dead.
  • @fdruid The Neo maybe, can the Neo be classed as mobile?
  • Mobile means Android and iOS. Microsoft even has an Android phone coming.
  • Microsoft has dozens of apps on iOS and Android. The article includes a link to a piece on Microsoft's efforts to redesign their mobile apps.
  • Only if icons of Android were like this. Android would look awesome.
  • So when are we going to get them in Windows 10?
  • so many icons, what could have been, except that POS lying nutellla crapped all over it.
  • Right. How dare he kill a product that no one was buying and that lost 10 billion dollars.
  • Woopdeedoo. Big deal, it's only aesthetics, bugger all substance. When this is a major story then Nadella's tenure looks pathetic. Is this what MS thinks is a worthwhile use of its billions of dollars?
  • FOLKS years ago I used MS Paint to ALTER the shape of Windows tiles Icons to have rounded
    corners and they looked like these new MS Icons. I submitted this idea to Microsoft The trouble
    with Microsoft's tiles was they were ugly to many folks. especially Windows 8 & Windows
    phone 7-8 tiles. they needed to be reshaped. To me all Windows tiles that did not have
    data that changes within the tiles should be small tiles or regular icons and live tiles
    that had data that changes within them have the capacity to change size. had Microsoft used
    these rules the tiles would have been accepted better & the UI wold have looked better
  • Hmm folks I hope that Microsoft uses these new shaped icons on their 2020 Surface "Neo" and
    "Duo"- 2 separate screen folding devices. I also hope that Microsoft puts live tiles like the
    "Weather" tile on "Neo" & "Duo" device and also on their Android phone launcher. Live tiles
    that actually have data that changes within them is a Microsoft "Tablet's mode Feature that's
    OK.As a Windows insider Years ago I created tiles an MS tile UI that had tiles with rounded
    corners & sent the Idea to Microsoft I warned Microsoft that their Current tiles looked
    homely/Ugly to some folks. Finally someone in Microsoft got Microsoft to change the way
    their "UI" tiles & Icons look. I salute the person who got them to change
  • PFFFT The On-Screen keyboard and touch editing is STILL a disaster in Windows 10 after all these years. When are they going to fix that?
  • Oh so you redesign icons for your Android project. Oh cool. Now where the **** is my Windows 10 Mobile smart phone? Where is all the devices that were suppose to use those awesome UWP apps?
  • What awesome UWP apps?
  • Exactly my point