Blue apps

Like most mornings, I opened iTunes today and noticed I had a few apps that needed updating – 8 to be exact. I immediately noticed that all 8 of the app icons were a shade of blue.

All 8 of them.

I’ve mused about this before with some designer friends, wondering if there were a psychological reason app developers use blue in the icon so frequently.  Nobody had a good explanation for this oddity.

I have a total of 168 apps in iTunes and 57 of them (34%) are blue.  (Note: I did not count apps that simply contained blue like the Flickr app with its blue and red dots.  The app needed to be mostly blue in order to be counted…like the ones in the screenshot above).

I can only imagine that, like the color of cars, the color of an app icon probably has something to do with what the personality of the app…or a feeling the app developer wants to convey to the user.

If you know of any research (psychological or otherwise) I’d be interested in reading it.

What percentage of your apps are blue?

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2 Responses to Blue apps

  1. Bill Shirley says:

    A few years ago at one of the Apple Conferences (i want to say WWDC 2008 or earlier) they announced they were changing their application icons to all be blue. Though a few have remained the brush-metal aluminum look, most have gone blue.

    I always just suspected 3rd party developers were trying to fit in to that mold.

  2. Dave says:

    From a usability standpoint, it’s really difficult to quickly look at a screen and open an app when all of them are blue. I am forced to remember the position of apps on a page now instead of quickly glancing at the color. I love app icons that are orange or red because they are easy to see and tap quickly with a mere glance.

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