Published in Mobiles

Android designer wades into Microsoft and Apple

Rubbish UI

Android interface designer Matias Duarte has hit out at Apple and Microsoft for making useless interfaces.

Showing off Android 4.0's attempt at balancing design with flexibility, Duarte claimed that Jobs' Mob clung on too closely to real-world metaphors which were not just cartoonish but were too reminiscent of crude early web design. All of these applications are designed in this real-objecty, faux wood paneling, faux brushed metal, faux jelly button kind of thing, he moaned to Electronista.

It all looks juvenile. It is not photorealistic, it is just illustrations which is what they used to do in the early days of the web, he said.

“If you tried that today, people would be laughing, unless you were doing it in a kitsch, poking-fun-at-yourself, retro art way," he said.

Windows Phone 7's Metro UI was also pants, he said. With its tiled and hyper-stylized interface it was based on the look of urban signage and left little room for flexibility, Duarte said. He thinks that Android 4.0 was closer to the web, where there was a large amount of freedom to customise the interface and make it special, but certain common elements were standardised.

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