Android vs. iOS: Apps

Android Phone iOS Phone

While using Android over the past couple of weeks i’ve noticed some things when comparing my top apps to iOS. Both iOS and Android, in different cases, choose different UI elements to do different things. I wanted to catalog some of them here.

Overall I’d say that mainstream Android apps have improved over time, and in many cases (Spotify, Evernote, NPR, and Amazon) I liked the Android versions better. Also with design trends moving to blocky designs and flat colors (like Windows 8) – Android looks more modern in a side-by-side comparison to its iOS counterpart.

If anything this shows that there are very few standard patterns that are used 100% of the time on each OS, but there is risk of confusion from someone expecting one thing – like they have an iPad tablet, but an Android phone – and getting different results when switching between devices.

Take a look at the below side-by-sides (or download/view PDF here), does one OS allow for better apps? Better design? Are some patterns easier to understand? Faster to navigate? Are these built in tandem? Are they built by the same teams?

Slideshare: Android vs iPhone – Differences in UI Patterns and Design

Big (D)esign

Big (D)esign 2009

Big (D)esign has come and gone. I was fortunate to be part of the planning team that put this successful (yes, I can now call it that now ;-) conference. Over the past months, I was able to see behind the scenes of the conference: event planning, sponsorship, contacting speakers, scheduling, logistics – and got to play a part in many of these activities. It was great to see people from UPA, Dallas Refresh, and IxDA (among others) come together to put this together – that and the 500+ people who ended up attending!

Continue Reading…

Hello, welcome to 2008

Hello, welcome to 2008

Starting in 2005 when returning from SXSWi a coworker and I would put together a trends presentation talking about up-and-coming technologies, patterns, websites, etc… and 2008 is no different. The presentations keep getting longer and longer, as innovation keeps building on the previous year, moving faster and faster. This year my co-presenter was Dustin Askins of Travelocity, and we gave the presentation internally to our UX groups, and just this week at the Dallas UPA Chapter.

Continue Reading…

Designer’s view of eclipse

Designer's view of eclipse

As a Designer, I sometimes need to evaluate different technologies and platforms from a Designer’s perspective. Why is it important to get a Designer’s view? As Designers we can quickly be boxed in with inflexible UI layers, unusable sets of standard patterns, and the inability to create a great experience. By reviewing and testing, we can determine the pros and cons of a given technology solution. In honor of Eclipsecon 2008 ;-) I’ve put together a presentation on a popular application platform – the Eclipse RCP.
Continue Reading…

Revealing Interfaces

Reveling Interfaces

If you’re an Interaction Designer, I’m sure you’ve noticed a new design pattern in the past year – one that doesn’t really seem to have a proper name yet. In fact, you’re probably already incorporating this pattern into your designs. It seems like almost every major redesign is leveraging this pattern to help hide complexity: Amazon, Linkedin, TripAdvisor – and sites like Target, Google, and Yahoo have been using it for awhile. It’s a design pattern I’m calling “Revealing Interfaces”.

Continue Reading…

When is it too simple?

Too Simple?

Yesterday I got to hear John Maeda speak at Sabre as part of the Wundermind series of speakers. I’ve read John’s book (The Laws of Simplicity), and really enjoyed it. He gave a great presentation – it’s rare to hear someone who really gets both technology and design (and he’s met Paul Rand!).

So when is simple, too simple? A great quote near the beginning of John’s book reads: “Imagine a world in which software companies simplified their programs every year by shipping with 10% fewer features at 10% higher cost due to the expense of simplification.” Maeda uses the iPod as an example of a product that has succeeded with this model. I also see this in the iPhone. As a new iPhone owner, I’ve been able to discover some great ways Apple’s removed features, without diminishing the experience, and simplified the iPhone UI.

Continue Reading…

Who feeds an experience?

Who feeds an experience?

Awhile back I posted my “Universe of User Experience“, where I wanted to show all the pieces that needed to come together to create a great experience. This was very helpful in educating people on what User Experience was and why all the pieces were necessary. But this did not address the issue of explaining the roles of the people doing this work… So, who feeds these experiences?

Continue Reading…

SXSW Interactive Brain-dump

SXSW Brain Dump

SXSWi has come and gone again, this was my fourth time to attend and it just keeps getting bigger every year. When I first visited in 2003 (or was it 2002?) Bruce Sterling was still throwing SXSWi parties at his home and FROG Design hosted everyone in their office, unfortunately that doesn’t really scale to the size of the conference today. But, the panels were as diverse and interesting as ever – and I came back with the following brain-dump:

Continue Reading…