Colour Crush your App Icons


Perhaps it’s the perpetual heat wave, or the relaxed attitude to discipline, or maybe living in the orient slowly loosens ones inhibitions until, eventually, anything goes. Whatever the cause, when I was wintering in the tropics I came across the Candycrush method of filing information.

Candycrush, as you all know, is a game with a single minded premise that is utterly addictive. It also uses color with the same constraint employed by Jeff Koons, on acid. The joy of the crush is that it mines some deep seated reward mechanism tucked away in the brain. It’s so addictive it leads staid MP’s into orgies of self indulgence when they should be hard at work defending our democracy. Despite the trivial implementation, there is something deeply cool and powerful at play.

So imagine my surprise when the same simplicity and organization by delight showed up on a friend’s phone. I stole the idea immediately. In this embodiment all my brands, as apps, are now organized by color, like candies sorted by a three year old. And my goodness it works.

Think of a brand, any brand, and its colour pops into your head and you know exactly where it is. You don’t have to think about it at all. Goodbye to scrolling between 6 screens of apps.

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It happens at some pre-rational level of the brain where all our instincts reside and triggers just the same sort of joy that the crush does.  Yes at some level all brands harness associations – but just like the crush this method takes it to an extreme hooking instantaneous reward directly into an icon. It isn’t the promise of a reward, it is the reward.

Somewhere in all this is a need for us to revisit the reward mechanism and hook it up to our brands in just the same way games do.

We need some neurologists to explain how this all works and maybe some games designers to show us how they manage to induce the sort of addiction that makes brand recall compulsory. In the meantime I am just joyful that I don’t have to think about where I left that app – I just know. At a very fundamental and enjoyable level, I just know.

Read the full PDF here