Occasionally, when I’m in a hurry to open my Twitter app, I mistakenly click on my email. Or my WordPress app. Or LinkedIn. Or the remote app for the Apple TV.
Why? Because they’re all blue!
This morning, my iPad was showing me a bunch of apps that needed updating (don’t ask me why it was showing me this rather than just updating them automatically as usual; I suppose I’ll have to go in and reset something), and every single icon showing on the page was blue.
And note that some of the most obvious blue icons that come to mind — Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox — weren’t even represented in this list.
Why is that? Is there research showing that that’s the most desirable color for an app? Is that evidence so powerful that it prevents developers from even having the thought, “Maybe I should make my icon stand out from the others?”
And does anyone besides me think this is odd?
OK, now… as I frequently do, I wrote the above without taking the trouble to Google, “why are so many app icons blue?” Before clicking “publish,” I decided I would. Like most questions that occur to me, this one had apparently been asked a gazillion times. (You know, I was a far more original thinker before Google came along.)
None of the answers were totally satisfactory to me. Yeah, OK, so blue is the most common favorite color on the planet, across cultures, genders, etc. It’s a safe choice for someone trying to appeal to a wide audience, not as edgy as, say, the execrable orange.
Got it. In fact, I sort of knew that stuff without asking. But still, it seems more developers would look at that sea of blue on their smartphone screens and think, “I want to stand out.”
But they don’t. Because they’re not such original thinkers either, apparently…
Silence complains that I had no new posts yesterday:
Brad, do you have plans to ever do a new post again, or should we just continue to battle amongst ourselves in last month’s comment threads?
He makes it sound like forever. It was just one day — and I was responding to comments. Gee, I figured that y’all were having enough fun with that rambling 153-comment thread on last Thursday’s Virtual Front Page.
I responded that “I get into these days sometimes when the only thing I can think of to post about is either a) Too trivial to post about without it being folded in among some more serious items, or b) Way too heavy and involved to embark upon on a busy day.
I had both kinds on my mind yesterday, and didn’t get to either. Here’s the one from category A…
I’m thinking about starting a new category of posts, called something like “What I Googled today,” or “Google of the day,” or just “Googling.”
Here’s the first entry.
Yesterday, after I found myself once again deliberately ALT-TABbing to and watching the Lumosity ad stuck between songs on Pandora (instead of hitting the “mute” button as I do on some of them, because they’re pretty jarring, especially when they occur on my Erik Satie station, as opposed to my Weezer station), I wondered who that unbelievably cute girl is — the one who makes me want to see the ad. I was pretty sure I was not the only one who had searched to find out, and I was right.
First, let’s pause to consider terminology. Some people misunderstand the word, “cute.” (Some also misunderstand the word “girl” when applied to someone of child-bearing age, but those people aren’t as old as I am, and/or don’t have children who are most likely older than this girl.) “Cute” does not mean pretty (although it often overlaps), much less beautiful, sexy or hot. It refers to a form of appeal, but it is not (necessarily) sexual, or related to pulchritude.
To explain: Zooey Deschanel is cute. She’s also pretty, but that’s a slightly separate thing. Ingrid Bergman was beautiful, which is not exactly the same thing as pretty. Carrie-Anne Moss is hot, especially in “The Matrix” — the first one, in which she wore the leather catsuit, which reminds us that Diana Rigg was hot in “The Avengers,” and this is not a leather thing. Speaking of cat suits, as in Catwoman, Sean Young was in her heyday sexy, hot and beautiful. Just kinda batty.
Anyway, the young woman in the Lumosity ad is unbelievably cute. This does not mean I want to have an illicit relationship with her. It just means that I look forward to seeing the ad. I am not alone, either in this, or in thinking the right word for her is “cute.” Here are some YouTube comments about her:
“For some reason,I think that this woman is really cute. And I’m a female.”
“Shes so f___ing cute”
“Emily Greco is so cute! She’s so cute I get happy just knowing the Luminosity commercial is starting. Whatever Luminosity paid her – it’s not enough now that hearing Luminosity puts me in a happy mood because I connect it with the cute woman in the commercial. I’m sure she has the same affect on most viewers.”
Those are sandwiched among some grossly negative comments, from the kinds of people who live to make negative comments. We all know the sort.
Anyway, as you see, her name is Emily Greco, and no, she’s not just some super-cute person who happened to be a Lumosity customer. She’s an actress. That naturalness is art. Here’s her agency’s page about “Our Rising Star — Emily Greco.”
What is it that defines her appeal? What is the “it” here? Well, it involves the fourth dimension, because it doesn’t come across in a still photo (although this isn’t bad). You need the video. You need to see the thing she does at the end (25 seconds) when she bats her eyes and smiles that crooked smile (proof that she’s not beautiful, since technically “beauty” is a function of symmetry, or so I’ve been told). All in one split second. And if you’ve seen the ad before, waiting to see her do that again is what keeps you watching the ad through the boring 10-second sales-pitch part, with the graphics.
Anyway, I haven’t seen an individual in an ad with that much appeal in years and years. So I take a professional interest in this. I also want to see the ad again…