As someone who focuses a great deal on user experience, people are often surprised that I don’t use OS X as my primary desktop operating system. Most people tend to associate the extra effort Apple put into the design of OS X with a better user experience, but graphic design and user experience are not synonymous. The truth is, I find that all desktop OSes are rather lacking, and believe the primary reason people think OS X is so good is because Windows is so bad (and Linux is scary).
Note (added 2016-03-21): The original post has been updated with clarifications in the intro and a link about accidental touches.
A little while back, Google updated their design guidelines to include tabs as an option at the bottom of an app on a mobile device. They refer to this as bottom navigation, citing a few times when you might consider this pattern. Given that Android already has a pattern of displaying tabs at the top of the app, two obvious reasons to shift those to the bottom stand out:
- The bottom of the screen is often easier to reach on a large phone.
- Putting tabs at the bottom gives the design visual balance.
Google seems to consider this a supplement to the navigation drawer as opposed to a change to traditional tabs, which is probably the reason they’re calling this bottom navigation. Of course, the average user will see this as tabs.
A lot of the cries against bottom tabs come from people who have associated that navigation pattern with iOS, but we shouldn’t disregard a pattern just because it comes from iOS. In fact, being able to create consistency across operating systems when it makes sense is a good thing; however, analyzing this pattern reveals several problems.
About two weeks ago, I decided to give the official Twitter Android app a try. I have tried it briefly here and there over the years, but the last time I used it was probably five years ago. I have always jumped around with third-party apps, so I was fairly curious how the official Twitter app had changed.
I’ve been blogging for around 10 years now and my habits have changed over time. When I first started blogging, I had a personal site where I covered a little of everything from technology to politics to art. After a few years, I decided I needed a separate site to focus on technology and this site was born.
With the new Nexus 5X and 6P as well as Samsung’s S6, Android phones are finally taking some impressive photos. Google has emphasized the importance of the 1.55 micrometer sensor pixels and most blogs have picked up on the importance of the larger pixel size and run with it. All things being equal, larger sensor pixels will allow better low light photos as well as reduced motion blur at the cost of fewer total pixels in the final image. Given that smartphone cameras are usually 12mp or more (above what the typical user needs), the trade off makes sense.