Keren Gu's Picazón

Sharing and Scratching Itches Everywhere

Lessons on UI

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After my previous post, Bad UI is Bad UX, I spent some time studying the UI of apps and websites around me. I wish I could show you how bad my old UI actually was. (At some point, I’ll revert back to the old UI, and write a post with comparisons.) But for now, I want to share some very simple lessons that I learned.

Lesson 1, “sharp corners” doesn’t mean shitty, and “round corners” aren’t necessarily classy. Default android buttons and TextViews are rectangles, with sharp corners, where as iOS present you with round corners by default (so I heard). So I took a look at the apps that came with Android, the settings, Gmail, etc., they looked just fine and elegant with sharp edges. Better yet, the sharp and straight lines looked cleaner.

Lesson 2, Margins. Have margins, and that is all.

Lesson 3, color “families”? Colors have 3 components, and a 4th component for transparency. (Transparencies are nice.) When choosing colors on a color chart, there are 3 axis of movements: 2 on the shades, and 1 for picking the color. An easy practice that I found useful was selecting 1 shade, and then choose all app colors in that shade. It the UI will naturally look harmonious. I will never use @color/blue with @color/green again.

If you’ve got any UI tips, please share. Still learning.

OH! And for background, a friend suggested SubtlePatterns — it’s addictive!

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