I think announcing a redesign is a kind of a fashion statement. While there are those who would cite a small change in the layout as a big deal, the two Android apps in question here have really gone through a makeover. One blatantly obvious, and the other, a little more subtle. But both redesigns, have a world of difference compared to their predecessors.
#Nwplying is a music sharing platform that leverages various social networks. . To be honest, #Nwplyng was never a bad looking app to start with. It was built using the Android design principles and used very sensible colours to go with it.
The redesign for this app is subtle, yet telling. For one, the logo of the app now sports a lighter shade of blue, as opposed to the indigo logo which the earlier version had. I think it goes well with the all white background. The menu bar is completely white, but for the logo — which prompts me to click the blue logo. The feed itself is laid out like a Google Now feed and the name and rank of the user is laid out differently now. Furthermore, #Nwplying provides a great experience while navigating; smooth transitions, fluid scrolls and the works.
Delight Circle suffered from a different problem and still does to some extent. It is a hybrid app and as with most apps, the user experience isn’t the best. The design and layout of the redesigned apps is more compliant with the Android design principles. While navigating is a lot easier, the experience is still choppy. This really ruins some of the great UX features that they’ve added. For example, the app has multiple tabs, which retract when you scroll, and frees up screen real estate. The choppy experience makes such innovative things go unnoticed.
Good design is good SEO
Google’s app store has about 800,000 apps in it. Now this is phenomenal competition and it needs great marketing and some divine intervention to enable viral discovery. Now the divine intervention is being marketed by Google itself. And Google will only do it for well designed apps with great user experience. Getting your app featured on the Google Play store assures an app at least a million downloads and Google will only do that if your app is compliant with the Android design principles.
Much like its former motto, ‘don’t be evil’, Google’s initiative of laying out these design principles is a good thing. Designer Isaac John Wesley, who works at Interviewstreet, says, “Android accepts innovations from outside of Google. For example, the sliding menu from the right, which is a regular feature for most of Google’s apps alone, was never a part of the Android design guidelines. It is now. So if you’re looking to redesign your app, following the UI guidelines is not a bad idea.
Good design also means a good user experience, something which Delight Circle lacks in some places. Amrit Sanjeev, a staff engineer at Intuit says, “The technology used to build apps isn’t really a problem. However, the quality of engineers required to build good cross platform applications come from the top 1% bracket of programmers. The quality of programmers required to build good native apps is also high, but they’re few in number. While large corporations might find it easy to find these guys, a startup finds it difficult to get these people. That’s probably why going native is a good option for app startups.”
In my opinion, the kind of subtle changes that #Nwplyng has done is really a big deal. A change in color and alignment makes the app feel completely different and kudos to the team that’s done this. Delight Circle’s layout change is a great advancement, but they still have issues in the user experience space.
Try these apps out and tell us what you think.
Download #Nwplyng here
Download Delight Cricle here