Ever notice how Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp all use (nearly) the same start screen implementation?
Apparently this is no coincidence. A presentation given at an Android Developer conference is urging app developers to conform to this design when developing their own apps. Why? Consistency lends itself to usability.
Android has long been a victim of its own openness—many claim it is a “geek” or “technophile” operating system. This stigma can, in part, be traced to the fact that Android apps have not been held accountable to any but the most lax standards (Eg, doesn’t blow up your phone) to be featured in the Android Market.
It certainly isn’t difficult to find an endless supply of applications on the Market with entirely different user interface design philosophies (or lack thereof), and one must admit that this variation does make using each of these apps a different learning experience, even for a tech-savvy user. Imagine, then, how a less experienced user feels when confronted with this staggering variability.
While Google doesn’t seem to be planning on changing its open-door Market policy, it is clear that the Android dev team realizes inconsistent user interfaces in applications are hurting Android’s image, as well as its user-friendliness.