24
Mar
play_redesign_thumb

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see What Do You Primarily Use Your Tablet For?

A few days ago, a popular reddit post (heads up, NSFW language) drew attention to the fact that the Play Store looks like an absolute mess these days. And it's true - just about everyone on the team agreed with the statement. Liam (our resident designer) agreed so strongly he even went ahead and wrote a post about it, and even went a step further and by creating some renders of how he'd do things. Take a look at the current Play UI (top) and Liam's proposal (bottom):

play_1 play_2

play_liam_1 play_liam_2

We're curious, though: do people really think that Play even needs an overhaul? Or does popular opinion say it's good as it stands now? Sound off in the poll below, and share your thoughts in the comments.

Does The Google Play Store's Mobile Interface Need An Overhaul?

View Results

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Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • Kevin

    It don't need an overhaul, just need to go back in time and use back the old interface (without the stupid space-wasting green curve).

    • Jon Garrett

      It needs a serious overhaul but not so much the GUI but the market itself.

      Every try finding a newly released app in the market?, you cant.

      • Andrew

        I just left my Droid behind for iOS - talk about not being able to find anything :(. It's not just the appstore on iOS that has major search issues - it's everything. Even the YouTube app. Searching for something extremely popular will turn out very opposite results. And don't even get me started about how 'misinformed' Siri is... about EVERYTHING! Ahhhh I want Android back so bad. I knew I should have went with the Nexus. :( The staunch white background washes the whole UI out and removes quite a bit of the Android nostalgia as well. It was lean, mean & bright green but it sure as hell worked well. This isn't paper. Put some personality into it.

        But the UI they released that replaced the old market ruined it for me too. I actually was able to downgrade it back to the old and set it not to update. I totally disagree with them cramming all of those items into the market as well - I, like 99% of Android users, will not even pay $1 for an app, let alone pay for a movie, or even worse - a book to read on my teensy 860px screen. I understand them wanting to make more money this way, but throwing all that in everyones face by literally smashing huge, awful buttons and ad images so much that we can't even comprehend what's going on is not the way to do it. GOOGLE: It's a PHONE - that means BLOCK list output. And I don't understand the massive thumbnail thing either, iPhone doesn't even do that. How am I going to know or care what the application is by its thumbnail? Fail for the company that's usually all about knowledge & big data.

        This all said, that other mockup is terrible as well. We should not be borrowing things from Netflix's also terrible UI, especially on these small screens. There's also no where near enough emphasis on applications, the only thing the market is actually used for. It looks even harder to find things.

  • Arcade Dark

    Liam's proposal is absolutely beautiful. I'd buy that for a dollar!

  • MMohsen

    I agree with Kevin, they need to bring the old market back
    also backing up applications became more difficult as they no longer appear in (my apps) properly after restoring them with any backup application which is quite annoying

    • Terry

      If you use Titanium you can "Restore Market Links". At least in the paid version. Not sure about the free one. If you use something other than Titanium, SWITCH! You will be glad you did.

  • TomVal

    The only thing I miss in Google Play is lack of "Newest entries" list, where it would be easy to discover newly added apps. This applies to all flavors of Google Play, not only the mobile interface. (NB: I can judge only the Apps section, no other services are available for me)

  • Terry

    I usually don't think about these things - either it works or it doesn't. The new store seems perfectly functional to me. I do like the new format. Liam's format seems like a giant step backwards. I'm sure it would have been fine if I hadn't seen Google Play. But I had a very negative reaction when you put the two side by side. Just goes to show you can never make everyone happy. Plus since Google is in a Hearts and Minds battle with apple, Liam's store is an absolutely dreadful idea. Sorry Liam.

  • C Apirr

    What it really needs is more sorting options for applications

  • Ali

    Besides the design and waste of space, I would like to be able to remove apps from my ALL apps tab (or maybe hide them). I sometimes try free apps and I don't like them to hang in my ALL apps. The design Liam provided does seem better.

  • Alex

    Good god Liam's design is BEAUTIFUL!

  • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio Roy Blumenthal

    I'm viewing on my Galaxy Note. So maybe I'm not seeing Liam's designs. All I see is a portrait version (presumably the original) and a landscape version (which doesn't look any different; seems to have exactly the same flow and functionality; which leads me to believe that it's NOT Liam's version I'm looking at).

    I voted 'other', cos I don't entirely care about the design of the Play market. Titanium Backup stores all of my apps, retired and active. So all I need the app store for is to get new apps and updates.

  • L boogie

    His design is something google should utilize when reconstructing the store's interface though the background should be a tad darker otherwise spectacular

  • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio Roy Blumenthal

    Just switched to desktop view, and Liam's version of the store is way better!

  • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio Roy Blumenthal

    Something the market DOES need isn't a visual design element... It's a UX element: an 'add to wishlist' feature.

    It also needs a 'remove from installed' button, to get rid of all those meaningless apps that were once installed, never to be used ever again.

  • ZRod

    Combine elements of the current market and the concept above. I like the boxes instead of just throwing up some app icons (makes it look disorganized even tho it is more organized). I absolutely hate the white and all the large amount of white space, give an option for light and dark themes please.

  • Dan

    There should be a new theme a month. Keeping things fresh :-D

  • Tim

    It's amazing how people always find things to complain about. I love the new look and functionality of the Google Play Store. How much easier does it need to be? If you can't figure it out now you shouldn't even own a smartphone.

    It's also funny how all the writers on all the tech blogs seem to think they know everything, even more than the actual designers of the products they're criticizing. I always wonder why they don't work for the big companies, designing all the products, since they know it all and have the best ideas?

    • http://www.liamspradl.in Liam Spradlin

      I think it's completely acceptable to critique things without being the ultimate master of the subject. I think that's called having an opinion and expressing it.
      If being an expert and working for a big company were criteria for voicing (or illustrating) an opinion, I think there'd be very little progress.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      You are correct - the minds behind a service or product are always correct, and never make mistakes.

      See also: DeLorean, Enron, and Lehman Brothers, to name a few.

    • Andrew

      No of course they would not have the best ideas, and they honestly probably couldn't do this job, and I'm very sure they know that. Being a UI Developer has shaved at least 10 years off my life so far, but this is how it goes:

      I maintain a very secure career for being able to accurately assume, with technology, marketing and actual reality in consideration, how a consumer can best make use of the layout, how it makes them feel, how it assists in selling the products, how it can appeal to as broad a group of people as possible and then how that all ties in with it being coded without error and at high performance. This is the job we're tasked with, and we many times are not able to hit the target (that's when you re-evaluate, regroup with your Art Director and get it up to snuff.) There is no doubt in my mind that there is not an extremely able team of developers & designers at Google - they can crank out some truly beautiful interfaces... but this one, this was clearly rushed to production. There is no way this would have made it past all the designers without someone saying "WTF is that color scheme?!" They rushed the new market out to force-upgrade everyone so they could expand what types of content the market sells. In turn, they released an inferior, poorly functioning application that threw another wrench in Android's usability. When you purchase a $600 device (even if your wireless carrier paid for most) and continue paying insane data fees on that device every month, and then the company forces you to upgrade to an application that is essential for operation of the device to a rushed, ill-planned version, they have then taken value away from the consumer.

      You're not supposed to do that anymore. It is reckless to drag your own brand through the dirt - didn't anyone else see the Microsoft empire fall? They are in the business of consumer electronics - and since the consumer pays, the consumer always has the final say!

      Besides, anyone who's used the old market and then had the new one forced upon them knows very well that it is COMPLETELY acceptable to critique this little fail. Haste always makes waste.

  • Idle Time

    Maybe I don't live in there. Just go there to update apps and buy something if I've heard about it, but I just don't see much of a difference between the Market and Play, the logo being the most memorable difference. So I don't know why so many ppl have so many complaints with the new version?

    It's true. Ppl just like to complain. lol.

  • Kent

    There needs to be a way for new apps to be found easier. Its amazing how i can type in the name of a new app exactly and have it turn up on the sixth page.

  • http://www.cricketusers.com Chris Rodriguez

    Everyone knows how polls work. If you don't, take a statistics class...

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Ok.....

  • http://twitter.com/Serotheo Simon

    The Black scheme is fine, but the White is better.. it fits better with the Play logo anyways.

  • Dan

    Yes, the interface needs an overhaul, but there are MUCH bigger issues.

    Why can't I delete apps from my apps list? I'm a big boy. I can handle clicking a checkbox that says I'm discarding a paid app. Some of the paid apps are crap and some stuff is just obsolete.
    - 10 million expansions for Camera Zoom FX: yeah, it was cute for 20 minutes. Now, I'm over it. It's been uninstalled for months and I want this crap off my list.
    - Air Horn!: it was a stupid, free app, but it's on my list forever because it was still installed when my old phone died.
    - Alarm Clock - LED: I hate the way it looks. Why am I stuck with it?
    - Blue Skies Live Wallpaper: I paid a buck for it or something and I think it sucks. I want it off my list. I'm not asking for a refund. I just want to throw the damned thing away.
    - Advanced Task Killer: is it still on my list just in case I decide to install Cupcake on a device for fun?
    - Home Switcher for Froyo: wtf? Why do I care today?
    - GlowBoard: the program SUCKS. I don't remember why it's on my list. MAKE IT GO AWAY!

    There are about 50 more, but I'm done. See the point? This is a hell of a lot more annoying than the interface issues.

    • Dan

      For that matter, why can't I delete my old phones off the damned list! Why does the play store still offer to install apps on a phone that died and was sent back to Verizon over four months ago? Or the phone that I had for TWO DAYS before the screen freaked out. Why is that still listed as my device and why can't I delete it?

      • Fabricio

        hey, i don't know how to delete but theres a way to hide from the dropdown selection... just go on preferences (the wheel thing on the top next to you user name) and go to devices.. then just edit and hide. that how I do it! Hope this helps

    • sriracha

      i'm with Dan here. these things are far more important than how the market looks.

      *delete devices
      *delete apps
      *favorites list/apps to remember
      *listing of market apps (find the app you searched for by name on the sixth page, or anywhere but first listing)

  • manlisten

    Yes, I've hated the current design since the day it debuted last year. Looks nothing like the rest of Google's Android apps. Really borrow's nothing from Google's new design ethos, either on Android or on the web. Looks like a failed attempt to copy MS' tile interface. I'm hoping for a complete redesign by the time Jelly Bean comes around.

    • manlisten

      To be fair, it does implements some aspects of Holo, but the tiles need to go. Or at the very least, the horrible gradients and reflections.

  • Luly

    It doesn't need an overhaul, just remove the reflections and have another tab of purchased apps

  • Tyler C

    I actually really like it the way it is. I've used it frequently on tablets of varying sizes, and phones, and for me it seems to be pretty universal all across the board and I never have any trouble using it.
    Liam's proposal looks nice, however I greatly prefer the darker theme over one with a lot of white.
    His layout seems decent though, maybe if the white was just replace with the dark grey, it would be good enough for me to choose it.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    I'd just like there to be no more reflections. Take those out, and the Play Store is already 1000% better.

    • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio Roy Blumenthal

      But... but... don't you just LOVE it when you click repeatedly on the reflection, thinking it's a different block? So cool how it completely DOUBLES the space taken.

  • LayZee

    The current layout of Play Store looks like something right out of Windows 8 (Metro UI) :P Like your proposal though :)

    • Hal Motley

      And I use Android to get away from Microsoft. Windows 8 is atrocious!

      • LayZee

        I meant it in a bad way, too :D
        Guess you think the same of WP7 ;)

  • noah

    I think the play store is okay. It could use an overhaul but I don't think its necessary. I like the way it is now TONS more than Liam's design tho (no offense). Liam's is too plain and similar to IOS.

  • john wilkinson

    What's its most in need of is a bloody sort option so after I've done a search I can sort by most downloaded or best rated!
    Or is it just me that thinks a sort option is needed?

    • bse88

      Totally agree with you

  • docpreego

    The thing they need MOST is a tablet optimized version that displays ONLY tablet apps! I can't believe this hasn't happened yet. No wonder people flock to the iPad over Android tablets! I have a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and really like it. I'm amazed that I can't open the Play Store and quickly know what's available for it. Also bring back the Market name, it just fit so much better. I can imagine it confusing people even further than a tablet whose app store doesn't show people which apps are available for their tablet.

  • Hal Motley

    I like it the way it is albeit any flaws it has. I still think that Android Market has a substantially better feel to it then Google Play. But let's not worry about the trivial things in life! :-)

    Hey is that Android Police app real? Wouldn't surprise me if it was because Artem is a die-hard Android fan and developer. Though I couldn't find it in the Play store.

  • musa

    The current layout is so slow. It lags every time I go back to the main screen.

    Such a far cry from the Gingerbread market pre 3.0 which was smooth and lag free when browsing apps.

  • Elimentals

    Maybe someone should point the Google Play developer to the Android design guidelines.

    How can you expect people to follow it if the creators don't.

  • Dan

    Oh yea, thanks to Fabricio for reminding me:

    FIX THE FREAKIN' HIDE FEATURE SO IT DAMNED WELL WORKS PERMANENTLY!!!!

    I've "hidden" my old phones multiple times. Sometimes they show up on the list, sometimes they don't. It's like a mini-game built into the market. Hey! It's a feature!

  • yourissues

    it doesn't scream google and play with me it screams... look I'm every where. also just got my prime but can't figure out why i can't see the change log for apps. i easily can on my phone or if i go to the apps main page but not under my apps? stupid

  • DJ

    I believe LIAM's design is pretty nice but the white has got to go, it needs a gloss black(for battery reasons).

  • GraveUypo

    a simple "No." would describe what i feel better. i don't really LIKE it, but i don't think it NEEDS an overhaul.

  • vegaman

    What I'm really hating about the latest update is that I've lost the ability to easily find purchased apps that I don't have installed.
    Before they all showed up at the bottom of my apps, now I have to scroll through a huge list looking for the ones that say purchased - not at all user friendly.

  • Aeires

    The current market is probably the only use of Metro UI that I actually like. No changes needed to the appearance, just maybe the search engine that drives it.

  • Denbo

    I would be HAPPY if just worked. Some days Google refuses to download and update apps. It just sits there for hours claiming to be downloading but never does.

    Even a reboot doesn't fix this and NO I am not rooted.

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/110295980903696451227/posts Tony

    Andriod is a fucking disgrace. 90% of the apps want to abuse and molest privacy. Millions of ignorant assholes download them a penny a bakers dozen. I am hopeful the android police is going to help with these pathetic idiots and app dev's. However, I've noticed 9 companies wanting to track me here. So, it seems like this might not be a good place either

  • Law

    the new app store interface in iOS 6 looks remarkably like the one Liam designed

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