What’s next for Android? Better design.
One thing that always takes a back seat with Android seems to be design. I thought that Google would change this back in 2014 with Material Design but I was clearly wrong. Don’t get me wrong, Android is not a bad looking OS, not at all. It’s just that when you compare it to iOS and even some Android apps it just seems like the design team at Google have been taking a really long break.
How would design significantly impact Android’s user experience? Well, one of the reasons that iOS has a really high user experience is because of its design. Fluid animations, consistent design cues, and up to date visuals all make for a great user experience. Compare this to Android’s fragmented design ecosystem and you see where i’m coming from. The fact that you can go from one app to another and be completely baffled at how they're even on the same ecosystem is a big issue that Google started to tackle with Material Design but never enforced.
Another point is how expensive smartphones are these days. Google’s own Pixel lineup is closing in on the $1000 mark. At nearly $1000 both the hardware and software should be polished to perfection. It would be more justified to ask $1000 for the Pixel 2 XL if Android had fully implemented Material Design. A fully Material Design would allow you to use the phone and really think to yourself “damn, this is a really premium piece of tech.”
Small animations such as slide transitions from one page to another make a massive difference when it comes to user experience and the premium feeling of an operating system. However, Android has barely implemented something as simple as this. This is most prominent in the settings app. An app that has been revamped for every release of Android for the past 3 years but still uses the KitKat animation of cutting in with a slight fade.
It’s the small things in iOS that give off the feeling that the folks over at Apple really put some thought and effort into it. Compare this to Android and the developers at Google and you’ll see what I mean.
When Google released their Material Design concept video I was super excited for what the Google products would look like when Google fully implemented it. Now, 3 years later I’ve pretty much lost all hope. Some 3rd party developers understand the power of Material Design and have fully implemented it into their apps. The one that always come to mind when I think of a beautifully crafted app is Relay for Reddit. If you’ve ever used that app you can agree that the experience of using that app compared to other apps is simply unrivalled.
If Android as an operating system implemented Material Design at the same level as apps like Relay for Reddit then more developers would begin to implement it into their apps. This would only result in a better experience for the users of Android.
I know many people don’t feel the same way I do. I’d love to know what you think. Are you happy with the way Android’s design is currently? Would you like to see Material Design fully implemented?