Here's An Idea: The Icons For Developers Program

Android and iOS devices have exploded in app usage over the last few years. Both of these operating systems bring app icons front and center. Large finger-friendly icons invite us to start a phone call, play a game or jot down a note. It’s all very polished and pretty.


Well it’s not all polished and pretty. Some apps, while they may be superbly built and infinitely useful, their icons aren’t very pretty. Perhaps the developers simply didn’t find the icon important, perhaps they lacked the resources to give an icon the attention it deserves. The result may be an app that doesn’t look as pretty as it is useful.

Here’s an idea: those of you who possess the time and skills to build a proper icon for your aesthetically orphaned but still favourite app — why not actually make that icon and offer it to the developer for free? In fact, why not have a central website, called “The Icons For Developers Program”, where designers can submit icon replacements to developers? Hell, why not let developers put out their own requests for icons? It should all be free in the name of pretty.

Has this already been done? Could it be useful, or would it simply fullfill a niche desire? Your thoughts are welcome.

6 thoughts on “Here's An Idea: The Icons For Developers Program”

  1. Alexander Graf says:

    Awesome idea, Joen. My quick Googling turned up nothing in that department (I could be wrong though). If you want to build such a website, I could gladly help out with code and/or hosting. Could be a fun little project 🙂

  2. Joen says:

    Sounds absolutely excellent. I’ll note that down, give it some further thoughts, and get back here!

  3. Nate says:

    Mozilla actually had a contest like that a while ago (it might still be open) where developers could submit their add-ons and users could then vote on which ones they’d like to have the icon redesigned for.

    The issue with icons is unfortunate because it can make really great applications seem unworthy at first. I’ve actually created my own icons for things that looked too out of place on my computer just so I’d feel better about having them installed! I hope you’ll let us know if this site ever gets started, it’s a great idea and it’d be interesting to see how it turns out!

  4. Joen says:

    I’m glad you like the idea. Initially, here, I just wanted to probe interest. What comes next is pondering how to go about the next step. Do we go all in, take Alexander up on his offer, find a good domain and build a lavish site? Or would it actually be sufficient with a tumbleblog?

    Since my time is limited, I want this idea to be open source. Public domain, even. And then I want to help all I can, including make icons.

    So, any of your ideas to make this happen, are welcome.

  5. Joen says:

    An update on this. A friend of mine has offered to build a backend if I build the frontend. Nothing is set in stone yet, but this may be one way to start. I’d still appreciate help from any volunteers willing to be part of this, but for the time being I’ll meet with this guy and see if this is the way to go.

  6. Joshua says:

    This is a fantastic idea. Keep us updated!

Comments are closed.