Priority icons within Jira issues have been updated. Their functionality hasn't changed, but their visual design has.
They’re now more accessible to everyone, including people who are color blind, and people who may experience low vision.
Image: Table comparing original vs new priority icons
Feedback from users helps us shape and ship great products and features. Over time, we collected feedback regarding our original priority icons; some of the icons were difficult to differentiate from one another (namely Highest, High, and Medium), because they relied solely on color to represent different statuses. This meant they were inaccessible to people experiencing low vision or color blindness.
According to feedback, the icons could also be tricky to decipher when projected onto a large screen during a team meeting, or when being viewed on a low resolution screen.
We realized they needed a refresh. So, we began exploring new designs:
Image: Early and subsequent explorations of new priority icon designs
The set of new icons (see first image above) was agreed upon and user-tested; the goal for each new icon was to be a clear and simple representation of a priority status without relying on color. We wanted the icons to be immediately distinguishable from one another, and clearly show an ascending and descending sequence of urgency.
Our products are designed to propel you and your team onward and upward; we like to get out of your way, so you can do the best work of your life.
The original priority icons, while streamlined and simple, may have required an occasional double-take from users; a head-turn; a momentary pause and ponder. In other words, they got in the way of some users doing their best work.
Our new priority icons don’t.
The new icons function the same way as the original icons, but they’re visually distinct at a glance without relying on color. Their accessibility has improved, and we hope you like them.