Android lets you mash apps together. When you do, cool things start to happen.

I just published my third app on Google Play: a custom watch face for Android Wear based on the typeface we created for the FORM 2014 conference. Credit to Paul and Li Ko from the material design team in NYC for designing and animating the typeface — I didn’t do much beyond porting the animations to Android and wrapping it up with the very-simple watch face API.

But today, I want to talk about one specific feature in the watch face: the Muzei integration. I’ve talked…

My guiding philosophy on developer advocacy

This June marked my 6 year anniversary on the Developer Relations team at Google. In those 6 years, I’ve helped web developers build with the Google Earth API more rapidly, Android developers build higher-quality, more usable mobile apps and UI designers make better design decisions for their Android and Android Wear apps. And now, after 6 years, I think I’ve finally found a pretty good, basic formula for getting people excited to build great stuff on your platform.

Here’s the basic recipe:

  1. Make Really Cool Thing™ with Platform.
  2. Share source for Really Cool Thing™.

Last week, we announced that the Google I/O 2014 app source code is now available, so you can go check out how we implemented some of the features and design details you got to play with during the conference. In this post, I’ll share a glimpse into some of our design thinking for this year’s app.

Every year for Google I/O, we publish an Android app for the conference that serves two purposes. First, it serves as a companion for conference attendees and those tuning in from home, with a personalized schedule, a browsing interface for talks, and more. …

Wearing your #AndroidWear UI

(cross-posted from the Android Developers Blog)

A few weeks ago, Timothy Jordan and I were chatting about designing apps for wearables to validate some of the content we’re planning for Google I/O 2014. We talked a lot about how these devices require scrutiny to preserve user attention while exposing some unique new surface areas for developers. …

The story of Muzei Live Wallpaper for Android

A smartphone is a deeply personal thing. It’s no surprise that the Personalization category on Google Play is home to some of Android’s most popular apps. Wallpapers, widgets, home screen replacements, and other apps that let you personalize every little nook and cranny of your device are intensely popular on the platform.

An early DashClock predecessor I hacked together

So back in the latter half of 2012, when I first heard about the new lock screen widget feature in Android 4.2 in an internal email (I work on Android at Google), I immediately started hacking together custom clocks for my lock screen. Some were basic typographic variations…

Fast can sometimes feel slow.

I was on a bus today when I noticed the passenger in front of me using her iPhone. I observed two behaviors that support the mobile design best practices I and others have been talking about on Android Design in Action and elsewhere on the interwebs.

First, the bus passenger was using some app with a touchable photo banner near the top of the screen and some text below. She touched the photo, but nothing happened. The app didn’t visually respond, even for a moment, and the content didn’t load. …

The why and how much of minimalist user interface design.

“Flat design.” It’s all the rage in the design community these days, what with major mobile and desktop platforms flattening everything from input fields to buttons to shadows like Saturday morning pancakes. Some critics claim it’s all a big fad—nothing but a design trend that’ll go out of fashion in a few years. Now, while this UI design ‘movement’ is kind of a rebellious response to the bubbly faux-3D interface aesthetic of decades past, it’s rooted in something deeper: minimalism, or the reduction of an interface down to its essential elements. Dieter Rams’ famous adage summarizes it best:

“Good design…

Roman Nurik

Designer @Google · Android/Web Developer

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