Why does the Duolingo icon look sad and old?

An image of the new Duolingo icon that looks sad, old, and wrinkly

An image of the new Duolingo icon that looks sad, old, and wrinkly

Noticed the new Duolingo icon appearing sad and old, and curious about the different look? It turns out, there's a deliberate technique behind this design choice.

The recent update to the Duolingo icon has ignited discussions among its community. The refreshed icon features the Duolingo owl characterized by an older appearance, with visible wrinkles on its forehead and under its eyes, conveying a sense of sadness.

Curious users flocked to Twitter seeking the meaning behind the new Duolingo icon. If you are also curious, we will reveal the reason behind the new icon. But, Before that, learn to fix the Duolingo widget not working issue.

What does the sad and old Duolingo icon mean?

Changing the Duolingo icon to look sad, old, and wrinkled is a strategy to make users curious, so they open the app to see if there are new updates or content. In other words, Duo is only trying to get your attention.

This tactic is rooted in the psychological effect known as the "novelty effect," where new stimuli can temporarily increase engagement and motivation. Snapchat similarly employs this strategy with the red dot and yellow dot on the Bitmoji.

Furthermore, this icon update could trigger discussions within the app's community, potentially boosting engagement and interest. Essentially, these changes are strategically aimed at enhancing user engagement.

Duolingo has done it before

This isn't Duolingo's inaugural icon makeover; previously, they introduced a "melting" icon. This change was designed as a playful twist to engage users, featuring Duo, the app's mascot, in a whimsically "melting" form.

The melting icon was a temporary, eye-catching update intended to encourage users to interact with the app​​. It served as a reminder of Duolingo's commitment to making language learning fun and not taking itself too seriously.

How to change the Duolingo app icon back to normal

If you are a Streak Society member or a Super Duolingo subscriber, you will be able to change the Duolingo app icon back to normal using the instructions here. Regrettably, this option is not available to other users.

Note that completing a lesson on Duolingo doesn't restore the app icon to its original appearance. However, the updated icon design is only a temporary change, and it will revert to its standard look after a few days.

That covers everything about the new Duolingo icon which appears old, sad, and wrinkly. We hope you found this guide informational. While you are here, make sure you learn how to use Streak Freeze on Duolingo.

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