Noted iPhone Jailbreak developer Grant Paul, better known as chpwn, has started the ICS Papercuts blog to share his thoughts on user interface and user experience inconsistencies in Google's latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Android Central's Jerry Hildenbrand has responded, agreeing with some of Paul's complaints and calling him out on others, and Paul has now responded to Hildenbrand's response as well. It's a great discussion and an important one and hopefully we'll see more like it across sites and platforms. UI and UX are iterative processes and criticism is the fuel that feeds iteration.
While iOS has more than it's fair share of UI eccentricities -- stitched leather and felt come immediately to mind -- it has by and large provided a more consistent experience than Android to date. The same type of control is typically in the same approximate place from one Apple app to another, and many -- though certainly not all -- iOS designers take pains and pride in following the same conventions. Like chopping wood, or reading repetitive words, it causes the chrome to disappear and interactions to become near frictionless.
Google has stepped up their design game across the board over the last year, but it remains challenged by legacy apps and interface elements, and a culture that traditionally places engineering ahead of design.
2012 represents a new opportunity for both platforms, however, with iOS 6 and Android Jellybean (Jujube? Jaffa cake? Jawbreaker?) on the horizon. Let's see what they can do.
Meanwhile check out the discussion via the links below.