Android design principles: Enchant Me, Simplify My Life, and Make Me Amazing

The SXSW conference is in full swing in Austin, Texas, and while some companies are announcing upcoming hardware projects, technology topics in general are a big part of the festival. One topic that we found particularly interesting is the discussion on Google’s thought process when designing Android.

Helena Roeber, an Android user experience designer from 2007 through 2012, and Rachel Garb, the lead interaction designer for Android apps, led the talk discussing how Google breaks down the design principles into three base categories: Enchant Me, Simplify My Life, and Make Me Amazing. Roeber said that the design team wanted to see how people used technology on a day-to-day basis, so they made in-home visits, learning that people were frequently overwhelmed by "limitless flexibility." The team also works hard on ensuring that Android is friendly to the users. For example, instead of saying, "Google is trying to reach out to the servers in order to access your account," a simple, "Your phone is contacting Google," works better. They also removed the phrase, "Are you sure," as they found Android users disliked it.

All these years of research have culminated with Google Now. Although some question the privacy aspects of Google’s tool, likening it to Skynet, there’s no question that it fits the design principles completely. It’s enchanting when the tool identifies your home and work locations without prompting, simplifies your life by providing information you may not have even thought you needed, and is overall an amazing technology.

Source: Slashdot | Image via VentureBeat

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Minnesota has technical issues with TurboTax filings

Next Story

From The Forums: Was Windows Vista really that bad?

24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

""Spy on me, explot me, disgust me""

That line is always interesting because people who say this usually use Google for at least their search engine needs.

Dont sit there moaning on how Google does its practices, if you dont like it, then dont like it, we really dont need to hear that kind of idiotic reasoning in this article.

Wait until you non-android users discover what companies REALLY do with your OS on the phone and you'll realize what Google do is just to make it PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE, and when you accept the TERMS & AGREEMENT, then well tough **** don't moan!

Thanks,

Moaning? Read your message then mine again and then tell me who is moaning. Apparently I struck a chord.

FYI, I don't use Google for anything anymore, and even for search I use Bing. Did I use Google services in the past, yes, and I didn't moan but rather make a choice to switch because I didn't want to be spied on and exploited (Google Search, GMail, etc) nor disgusted (Android).

If you didn't like my message then don't read it but I have every right to be vocal and it is totally appropriate for me to write it here on Neowin.

Struck a chord? naa I Dont take life that seriously, just be careful what your Data is used for before you think its all good using other big corporations for services

Jeez. You learn something every day. And here I was thinking Google just rips off everything Apple and Microsoft does, writes crappy software, doesn't bother finishing it and then dumps it on the market for "free" so they can use it to spy on people.

learning that people were frequently overwhelmed by "limitless flexibility."

Apple could have told them this years ago - which is why they try and design their products/UI to be as simple as possible, with one route of achieving a goal/outcome instead 3 or 4 different ways of achieving the same task

Leaders at Google android section have sharp eyes. Please teach some to windows phone team leaders because they don't don't know what user interface users like.although android has messy Linux core, they managed to bring it to users simplified with smaller learning curve and more appealing ui. I really don't know what to say, I am a windows fan but I like new android's ui better.

Bullsh*t you can tell my grandma. But beware, she's got a cane to beat you with.

Android's based on two things:
1) app store, where as soon as you go out of what "everyone's using" (well, even then oftimes) it is severely lacking in unified design principles, proper functionality and quality in general - which leads to its only design principle - people are gullible [also, to fall for this design principle crap]
2) all kinds of diddling with ROMs

All these design principles sound like marketing buzzwords to me. My next product will have the principles "Shift Paradigms", "Infinite Cloudspace", "Seamless Synergy".

This is indeed very funny. The inspiration source is obvious.

For years, Android was nothing but a glorified Windows Mobile 6.5. Things started to changed after Windows Phone and its somewhat revolutionary UX design started to grab the attention of designers.

At least, they do something about it. It's probably very flattering for the Windows Phone UX team.

TheCyberKnight said,
This is indeed very funny. The inspiration source is obvious.

For years, Android was nothing but a glorified Windows Mobile 6.5. Things started to changed after Windows Phone and its somewhat revolutionary UX design started to grab the attention of designers.

At least, they do something about it. It's probably very flattering for the Windows Phone UX team.

Fail. My eyes burn. Who let that guy post???

TheCyberKnight said,
This is indeed very funny. The inspiration source is obvious.

For years, Android was nothing but a glorified Windows Mobile 6.5. Things started to changed after Windows Phone and its somewhat revolutionary UX design started to grab the attention of designers.

At least, they do something about it. It's probably very flattering for the Windows Phone UX team.


Android can be beautiful too...
http://mycolorscreen.com/popular/?os=android

Even the vanilla Android 4.2 looks great already IMO without customization.
But I agree Metro/Modern/Windows UI looks great too. Especially on Windows Phone. Don't really like it on Windows 8 maybe due to the lower DPI of the screen it does not looks as good.

tanjiajun_34 said,

Android can be beautiful too...
http://mycolorscreen.com/popular/?os=android

Even the vanilla Android 4.2 looks great already IMO without customization.

Android has come a long way since 2.2, Android 4.2 looks great and reminds me a lot of Windows Phone. Just like this article does.

Honestly Microsoft was on the right track with Windows Phone. They are just to slow. Could be that Google is able to take this much further much faster then Microsoft ever has.

Ronnet said,

Android has come a long way since 2.2, Android 4.2 looks great and reminds me a lot of Windows Phone. Just like this article does.

Honestly Microsoft was on the right track with Windows Phone. They are just to slow. Could be that Google is able to take this much further much faster then Microsoft ever has.

How does Jelly Bean remind you of WP?

TheCyberKnight said,
For years, Android was nothing but a glorified Windows Mobile 6.5.

As a person who used Windows Mobile for years prior to my first Android phone, let me tell you, when I got my Droid 1, the difference was night and day.

Ronnet said,
Honestly Microsoft was on the right track with Windows Phone. They are just to slow. Could be that Google is able to take this much further much faster then Microsoft ever has.

The irony here is that Android feels more like a proper mobile version of Windows then anything that Microsoft has to offer.

tanjiajun_34 said,

Android can be beautiful too...
http://mycolorscreen.com/popular/?os=android

Even the vanilla Android 4.2 looks great already IMO without customization.
But I agree Metro/Modern/Windows UI looks great too. Especially on Windows Phone. Don't really like it on Windows 8 maybe due to the lower DPI of the screen it does not looks as good.

You're right. Android is more than decent since Honeycomb and even more with Jelly Bean.
The other idiots that had nothing else to say did not read properly. I was talking about the early years. I stand behind my point, it was nothing better, UX wise, than a glorified Windows Mobile. The progress they made since is impressive but highly inspired by others.

This message :

TheCyberKnight said,
I expected more detailed arguments than this insipid comment.

Was intended for

Hahaiah said,
What's obvious to everyone else is how funny you are.