“When Doug Bowman, former creative Director for Google resigned, he posted a quote on his blog that sums Google up perfectly. Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better.
Android is the creation of technicians and analytical minds, super genius programmers who someday will probably unlock the secret to creating human life with code, modern day Robin Hoods who give mobile carriers an open source doorway to the kingdom of apps.
But Apple often beats them on user experience because their is no unified foundation for Android design. Android has been so grossly ignored by the design community that the phrase “Android design” is almost an oxymoron. While Apple’s exhaustive Human Interface Guidelines hold designers’ hands through the process, Android designers are left in the dark.
Our Android Human Interface Guidelines were born out of our own struggles with the Android platform. Early on we made the decision that “porting” an app was a faulty term that was resulting in iOS apps being squeezed and refashioned into something that almost works on Android. Often these refashioned apps would carry over Apple design standards, sometimes even ignoring Android’s hardware buttons and sending users into navigational dead ends.”
Oh my, yes. Telling it like it is, these guys have put together a rather useful Android Design Guidelines document. No, the Android UI Guidelines are NOT the same. They do nuts and bolts, not look and feel.
Both matter, though I could probably argue the point with hundreds of developers until I am one of the 41 shades of blue that Google was testing. (Actually, I prefer to think I would be no 42, for obvious reasons!)
There is a glaring disparity between Apple’s polished iOS product, and the Android offering. Part of the problem lies in multiple fractured versions of the interface (hence Google’s decision to not release Honeycomb yet), and in part because the tools and guidelines for design are awful – as opposed to the rich detail on how to code for the platform.
Google needs to up it’s designer friendliness. Now.
- A Human Interface Guideline for Android Developers (mobilecrunch.com)
- Android vs iOS, big and small differences (blogs.picpacwrack.net)
- Android UI/UX gripes (mlindgren.ca)