fman's new icon

fman has a new icon:

fman's development is very much driven by user feedback. There's a public list of requested features where you can vote on the improvements most important to you. Features are prioritised (roughly) according to the number of votes they receive.

fman's most requested feature for quite a while has been that it gets a proper app icon. Finally, in the new year 2017 I found time to look into this.

Because I absolutely, positively, most definitely suck at design (seriously), I decided to have the design created over at 99designs. In case you haven't heard of it before, 99designs lets you host a "design contest". You say what you need (eg. an icon) and how much you're willing to spend. Then designers come and submit design proposals. You have one week to ask for revisions. At the end, you pick a winner. The person whose design you picked gets the money, and you receive the rights to the design.

fman's contest didn't go exactly as planned. I thought I had this really cool idea: "fman" sounds a little like a superhero. So I advised the designers to come up with something along those lines. The first submissions weren't very good, but then there was one I really liked. It showed a confidently smiling "folder" with a face and a mask like a superhero. I thought it was a great way of conveying that fman was unique and superior to other file managers.

After a few more designs had been submitted, I held a Poll on 99designs. This feature gives you a shareable link under which others can vote (and leave feedback) on the designs submitted so far. Guess what? My supercool superhero unequivocally came last (with over 300 fman users voting!).

The design that came first in the poll had a slight problem: It featured the typical traffic lights buttons that are used on Mac to close/minimize/maximize a window. Several users suggested that it would be better if fman's icon were platform-independent (since fman is cross-platform as well).

Well, I forwarded this feedback to the designer and held another poll with three variants: The original and two platform-independent alternatives. Again, the original, "Mac-dependent" version clearly came first. I do agree that it's a nice design. And I don't think it's that big of a problem that it features Apple's traffic light buttons. So there we go :-)

One of the nice things about the icon is its simplicity. It's very clear, also at small sizes. Its colours and layout clearly resemble fman. I think it's rather memorable (or at least if you see it again, it's not difficult to remember that it stands for fman.) It may not be as artistic as my former preference. But I actually quite like it :-)

The icon was just released as part of fman't latest version 0.2.9. Enjoy! :-)

Michael started fman in 2016, convinced that we deserve a better file manager. fman's launch in 2017 was a huge success. But despite full-time work, it only makes $500 per month. The goal is to fix this.