Safedome Android app, not just a copy of the iPhone app
Posted on October 13 2015
Intuitive and comfortable for Android users
From the first day of development, the objective was to produce something that would be intuitive and comfortable for Android users. Hence, every element of every screen of the iOS designs had to be translated. All the icons were replaced with the ones following the material paradigm, navigation bars substituted with action bars and screen flows rethought for a device with navigation buttons.
One of the bigger challenges was supporting the wide variety of devices on the market. Each device has a different size and shape screen, potentially different customizations and slightly different Bluetooth hardware. That means keeping the experience consistent requires thinking through every part of that and testing on as many devices as we can get our hands on.
While most features and design elements can be directly translated, some provide more flexibility in Android than in iOS. As a result, the designer has the opportunity to enhance a feature and make it more interesting. A good example of that was how notifications were developed. On Android, in addition to having text and actions, they can also feature an expandable image, which worked great for the wallet disconnection notification. Instead of simply notifying the user that they may have left their wallet behind, we can provide a map of where it happened and allow them to create an alert-free zone or get directions to that location without returning to the app.
Worth the extra time
In the end, it was the right decision to spend that extra time properly adapting the experience of the app to Android. It’s something that the users will appreciate and something that should always be done whenever faced with a similar situation, instead of going the easy route of reusing iOS designs in their entirety.
More on the importance of Android-specific designs in my article “Androidness is a virtue”.