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How Not to Design an Android App
Apps 2 min read 1 Comment

How Not to Design an Android App


(Ikea Catalogue Android app copies the design of its iOS cousin)

The website Android UI Patterns has a pretty interesting post up about bad Android design. Basically the author's thesis is that developers should never simply try to copy the same app design when creating apps across platforms like Android and iOS. The author picks the IKEA catalogue as one of his primary targets of bad app design.

Why is the IKEA app being singled out? Well, it includes features that are superflous to Android devices, takes up a lot of space in the phone's memory, and has confusing layout and controls.

For one, the IKEA app includes a "back button" where none is needed. Since Android devices have physical back buttons, it would only make sense to install a back button in the UI if the app were being designed for iOS, which it obviously was before it was poorly modified to fit Android's standards.

UI controls are a mess, as well, with completely useless buttons that direct users to pages that don't have any content. Perhaps most frustratingly, the app takes up a whopping 104MB of space, which will likely lead to its immediate deletion by most sensible Android users. 

It's interesting to read this tear down of bad app design as it gives other developers a look at what not to do. While it's debatable whether apps should even be replicated across platforms and clutter the Android Market with features it doesn't need. Certainly there's a better way to do it than this. We're not trying to single out IKEA here; in fact, many apps have similar problems. If developers were to pay more attention to what users might actually want to do with their app, they might not get deleted so quickly. 

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