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Articles Tagged:

UX

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Samsung's new gesture navigation solution actually looks quite promising

Gesture navigation is considered by some to be an important innovation in smartphone UX, not least because it removes the nav bar and allows for more content on the display. It's not easy to get it right, but Apple has done a pretty good job of it and Android OEMs like OnePlus have also had a good go (let's not waste our time discussing Google's Pixel abomination). Samsung's recently announced Galaxy A7 offers another new take on gesture nav, and it actually seems pretty good.

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Google Search desktop UI showing refreshed Material Design with rounded corners and persistent search bar

I've been noticing it pretty much since I arrived in Germany for IFA 2018, and now we've had a few tips from readers to confirm it. Google's desktop search UI is being updated to more closely follow the latest evolution of the company's Material Design guidelines — this means rounded corners everywhere, more white than a snowstorm, and a persistent search bar.

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Chrome Duplex UI updated with bottom bar that mirrors top toolbar options

Google Chrome's Canary build offers "bleeding edge" features so they can be tested ahead of possible graduation to the more stable versions of the app. Recently, Google has been experimenting with the traditional top-positioned toolbar in response to ever taller Android handsets, first by moving the whole thing to the bottom (Chrome Home), and then by replacing that with a swiping up gesture to access the new tab page (Chrome Duplex).

The latest evolution of this test — controlled by the #enable-chrome-duplex flag in chrome://flags — introduces a brand new bottom toolbar that exactly mirrors the options at the top of the screen.

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YouTube Music is testing a new player UI and queue functionality

As Google prepares to sunset Play Music in favor of a new subscription model for YouTube Music, some changes to the app are being made to bring it in line with its competitors. A new fullscreen player UI is rolling out, along with a queue feature similar to Play Music that lets you line up subsequent songs and change the order at will.

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Google's rounded mobile search redesign is now rolling out to everyone

Google isn't one to rest on its laurels when it comes to the UX of its apps and sites. The company is continually testing different looks as it tries to keep up with the ever-changing design landscape and make its products as easy to use as possible. Search is still the company's bread and butter, and accordingly, it gets A/B tested more than most other properties. These latest changes have been tested to varying extents in recent months, and from the numerous tips we've had it seems they're being rolled out more-widely now. Let's take a look at what's new.

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InBrief
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Play Store app now has a slightly redesigned menu layout

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Facebook is testing further UI changes, including a pull-down navigation drawer

The devs in Menlo Park have been busy recently rolling out significant changes to the look of the Facebook app for Android, more about which you can read here. We've now received tips about a further change that's currently being tested which replaces the linear, swipe-left hamburger menu with a pull-down grid of options. The new layout even has notification dots, just like Android Oreo.

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[Update: Live] Twitter is readying a night mode for the desktop site

It's been roughly a year since Twitter made a ton of users very happy and fully introduced a night mode for its Android app. That was such a popular move with anyone who hadn't defected to a third party Twitter client that it seemed a dead cert it would eventually come to the desktop site. That time has now come.

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Facebook is adjusting the newsfeed to make it easier to read and more conversational

Although it might not always seem like it, UX is paramount to Facebook's devs. They want to make engagement with the app as easy as possible in order to persuade users to keep coming back for more. Every change they make is rigorously tested, a difficult task given UI preferences are highly subjective among the app's billions of users. For that reason, we don't see too many changes. Over the next few weeks, Facebook is going to roll out some of the biggest visual adjustments we'll have seen for quite some time.

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The Google Phone app could be getting an in-call floating action bar

If there's one thing that's certain in life, it's that Google is always testing some sort of interesting UI change in one of its apps. Some of them end up on the scrapheap, but some of them end up being integral parts of the experience we all have when using our Android devices. The latest test to be discovered is a floating bubble UI in the Google Phone app.

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