Here is my personal opinion.
I found the former version with more modern icons and fewer colors much easier to look at. More organized, more stylish, more simple. I find this new one with colors a bit messy, and it tends to trigger my OCD nerves saying that it's a bit of chaos.
However! With the former version, I had a hard time to find the badge I was looking for when scrolling through the badges. With the new colored version it's much faster for me to lay my eyes on the badge I am looking for. Therefore I see it as a huge upgrade compared to the former version. Going back to six badges per row might have helped this as well, since it's fewer to scroll past. It was a mistake/bug that there only were five per row in the former version though.
I am not a super fan of the gem-styled edges, but it was wished for. It was also one of the original ideas that the gem badges should "look better/more expensive" than the others. My favorite background is either Diamond or Platinum, haven't been able to decide yet. Of the gem badges, I find Diamond to look best at least.
I can understand that some don't find the new icons as recognizable as those in version 3 ("the original"). But one should keep in mind that many of us have looked at the old badges for 10 years, maybe even on a weekly basis in average.
With this in mind I did a test! I looked through all the badges, without looking at the ribbon at all. There is a total of 46 unique badges right now. I scrolled through all of them, did not spend more than 2-3 seconds on any of them. After scrolling through them all, in less than a minute, I had guessed which badge-type belonged to each icon.
The result was this:
- The Attribute Cacher - I generally don't recognize this one on the icon itself. But I have learned which it is, and therefore scored a correct point on that one.
- The Busy Cacher - I failed to guess this one (in those 2-3 seconds). My first failed guess.
- The Long-Distance Cacher - I placed it as The Travelling Cacher. My second failed guess.
- The Travelling Cacher - I might have failed this one and guessed Long-distance, if I hadn't already failed the other.
The fact is that I didn't recognize all badges with BadgeGen v3 either. In fact, Long-Distance and Travelling were two of those I never knew about. Much because I don't care about them much, I don't have very interesting stats on those. Actually I usually have an issue recognizing more of them with BadgeGen v3.
I would say that recognizing 42-44 of 46 in less than a minute is quite good. For me, that's better percent than I had with BadgeGen v3. Then again, v3 is 10 years old, these are just a few weeks old. I strongly believe these will be much easier to recognize for most, less than a year from now.
Regarding the messy chaos impression my mind gets. This is the first published version where they are colored. If this is where we decide to stay with the icons, I am sure there will be minor adjustments which might reduce this effect a bit. Trying to make them fit together even better and such.
Then I have a list of my own with different minor "issues" with the icons. But as it's not final, I don't really need to list those here, I do have direct contact with the designer after all.
Disclaimer: While I haven't made any of the graphics, I do have strong influence on clappy, so I am not 100% impartial.