How I Would Further Improve Camera Awesome for Android

Camera Awesome, a famous camera app in iOS has finally arrived at Play Store for Android users after 20 months of hard work — and it has made a lot of disappointed people, especially those who cares about Android Design (1, 2). I appreciate the hard work that the development team poured into the app, but with 20 months of development time (which they have blamed the fragmentation in Android), I would really expect something meant for Android users. The app itself is almost completely made with skeuomorphic design (I do not against skeuomorphism, but I personally think that flat (or almost flat) design are better one in digital world), which is a completely port from the iOS version in terms of UI and functionalities.

It wasn’t just us Android Designers reject about this, but look at the comments/reviews from the users — they are just going to further strengthen something we are always talked about — users are rejecting Android app with iOS porting, especially when the UI/UX is almost a blatant copy of the iOS version. Further more with this UI, it doesn’t looks too fitting on the iOS 7 which has been refreshed with flat UI design too — probably the designers in the team doesn’t work hard enough.

I understand that this is a 1.0 release, but with 20 months of development, I really expect an almost-polished app. Besides the skeuomorphic design, there are a few things that I really hate:

  • Complete (old) iOS design in Edit screen and Settings screen
  • Used elastic feedback for overscroll together with overscroll edge effect (I don’t think they understand what’s that for)
  • Switching between screens have no hierarchical transition effect (feels like I am using some mock ups)
  • Used the (old) iOS style Share button (I am not really sure when this can be stopped)
  • Strange Share intent

My Redesign

Below are some redesigned screens showing that the functionalities and the layout doesn’t need to be changed, as long as it is designed for Android (ideally with flatter design) and using the right UI patterns. Sure, I must admit it does looks a little bit similar to iOS 7 stock camera, but even with this design, I will already be a happy man using this ‘awesome’ camera app.

DefaultOptionsEdit

Settings

What do you think? Do you like the iOS UI porting or you would prefer a design meant for Android users? I hope you would say the latter.

Sure, Camera Awesome team, I know it wasn’t easy, but I don’t think it’s that hard either.

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How I would further improve Yahoo! Weather App

Yahoo! Weather app just got updated and I must say it is a very nice and well done app, visually. However, if you really care about your Android users, you would have iron out some fundamental design issue (menu button of shame, anyone?) before publishing it – I would not go into more details about all the design issues, Juhani’s article has already highlighted all the design issues we saw as an Android Designer, and even offers fixes for them.

So in this rather short post, I would like to share how I would further improve Yahoo! Weather app with better Android UX:

  • Use Fading Action Bar
  • Use Official Navigation Drawer
  • Place Refresh button on the Action Bar (Refresh is far more important action than Add Location. Pull-to-Refresh? Very bad discoverability)
  • Visual cue for pages (You can see that below the fading action bar – it indicates that there are 2 locations/pages)
  • Removed the Menu Button of Shame
  • Notification Bar always shown
  • Settings, Rating etc – All placed in Overflow Menu
  • Locations come first in Navigation Drawer (It’s a weather app, who want to sign in to use it?)
  • Highlight the current selected location
  • Removed all advertisement about other Yahoo! app (Is it really needed? I don’t believe I have ever see the advertisement about Google Keep app in Gmail app.)

Yahoo! Weather Main

Yahoo! Weather Nav Drawer

 

What do you think? Better UX or simply nitpicking?