Being a woman herself and having studied in a women’s college, Facebook’s design manager Caitlin Winner couldn’t help but read into the symbolism in the social media site’s current ‘friends’ icon.
“The woman was quite literally in the shadow of the man, she was not in a position to lean in,” wrote Winner in Medium .
She was inspired by a poster in office that said: Nothing at Facebook is someone else’s problem. So Winner decided to do something about it.
Her first idea was to draw two silhouettes of equal sizes without a line indicating who was in front. But dozens of iterations later, she decided against the approach.
The reason? She failed to make an icon that didn’t look “like a two-headed mythical beast.”
“So I placed the lady, slightly smaller, in front of the man,” she added.
She also wanted to rid the woman of the “Darth Vader-like helmet”, so she tried several hairstyles.
” Ponytails felt modern, if a little youthful, but at 32 pixels the pony resembled a small rodent more than a hairdo,” said Winner.
So Darth Vader’s legacy lived on.