Matias Duarte, Director of Android, has spoken out about the Yahoo! Weather app that came to Android a few days ago, settling down some of the complaints from Android design addicts who believe Yahoo trampled on the rules.
Taking the metaphor of a jam jar and how a manufacturer could make the process difficult, inefficient or just against what is normal for users, Duarte explains how even though the jam jar will open just as quickly clockwise as it will counterclockwise, it is still the norm to do it one way rather than the other.
Paring this to Android, Duarte says the Android developer guidelines are there to help developers create apps consistent with the Android design. It does not need to be set in stone and Duarte does say some elements like interface design and visual appeal are completely down the developers taste and what they want the app to look like and portray.
In a way, Android is still quite a closed system in the sense of design and this is always a good thing. If Android had no guidelines, no tools, no keys, icons, widgets, if everything that made the design of an application consistent was removed, it would be havoc on the OS.
Not only would users not be able to understand one app from another, since the developer controls will be completely different, they would find every app jargon and the speeds, touch, swipe and gesture support would all no coexist on the OS. Simply put, Android guidelines and tools bring order to the complexity and customisation of the open source mobile operating system.
Duarte is right in saying making an app that makes other users happy is good for the community and by all means stretch the ideas of Android and make sure the experience can be the best possible, but he is also right in saying if the reason the app is different is for different sake, then it doesn’t bring anything good to the table, only confusion to users.
Source: Matias Duarte