1. Sidhanth Agarwal's Avatar
    Hi,

    I've been an Android user for a long time now but still feel that it lacks polish in some areas, especially the black band of navigation icons in stock Android. I've written a post about it on my blog with suggestions for improvement, would love to hear some feedback.

    ANDROID’S UNPOLISHED NAVIGATION INTERFACE – Putting it Straight

    Thanks, Sidhanth
    01-30-2017 12:01 AM
  2. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    Your blog post is unclear in what you would like to see changed.
    The button bar at the bottom of the screen contains the buttons needed by the OS to do the multi-app switching.
    If an app developer desires, he can set the button bar to hidden to better use the space for the app, if that makes sense for the app (for example, full screen image views).
    01-30-2017 04:31 PM
  3. Vyrlokar's Avatar
    While it's true that using the whole band for the navigation controls looks kind of wasteful, I personally like it much more than physical navigation buttons. Google just needs to have an API to add customizable controls to the bar (some roms already allow it).
    01-30-2017 05:35 PM
  4. Sidhanth Agarwal's Avatar
    I don't think I conveyed my intention in the post, or maybe I should add a tldr at the start.

    The crux of my argument is that I do think the on-screen buttons have advantages (like disappearing when not in use etc.) but feel like they could be implemented better, especially in the stock version.

    Currently the black band of navigation icons at the bottom and the battery, time band at the top are distracting due to the contrast and just by adopting the same background as the app, the overall interface feels so much better.

    My intentions is to have the bottom and top bands look much more integrated with the rest of the app, similar to the home screen.
    01-30-2017 10:02 PM
  5. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    I can see what you are getting at.

    The catch is that the two bars are not part of any app; they are parts of the OS outside of all apps, including whatever app launcher you are using. As such, it makes sense for them to be visually separate from the apps.
    01-30-2017 11:23 PM
  6. Sidhanth Agarwal's Avatar
    Yes I know they're not part of an app, but it feels distracting to the original content.

    I think it works better if they implement a Google Now strategy, maybe use a grading translucent backdrop to both top and bottom drawers, so that you view the screen as a whole.

    My intention is to not have them visually separate as sometimes (especially the black band) distract, especially on non-black phones. You're always intuitively aware where the buttons are at the bottom.
    01-31-2017 11:36 AM
  7. Vyrlokar's Avatar
    Yes I know they're not part of an app, but it feels distracting to the original content.

    I think it works better if they implement a Google Now strategy, maybe use a grading translucent backdrop to both top and bottom drawers, so that you view the screen as a whole.

    My intention is to not have them visually separate as sometimes (especially the black band) distract, especially on non-black phones. You're always intuitively aware where the buttons are at the bottom.
    Oh, apps that implement the appropriate APIs can have the black bands become the color the app wants, for better integration. The thing is, the dev needs to integrate that feature, and sometimes the apps work perfectly but were coded for earlier versions of Android where that feature was not available.
    01-31-2017 12:29 PM
  8. Sidhanth Agarwal's Avatar
    I didn't know that. Thanks for the useful information.

    Whether its possible or not though, it is not an approach Google is suggesting, either through their own apps or through guidelines.

    The point of my article - Do you think this small tweak could result in a cleaner (and more immersive) interface? I sincerely believe so.

    Or am I overthinking it?
    01-31-2017 01:45 PM
  9. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    I would not say you are overthinking it.

    You are talking about artistic style/design. The problem with art is that it is subjective. If you ask 100 people, you will get 98 different opinions.
    01-31-2017 06:11 PM
  10. Sidhanth Agarwal's Avatar
    Ok. Thanks for the feedback.
    02-01-2017 01:17 PM
  11. Vyrlokar's Avatar
    I didn't know that. Thanks for the useful information.

    Whether its possible or not though, it is not an approach Google is suggesting, either through their own apps or through guidelines.

    The point of my article - Do you think this small tweak could result in a cleaner (and more immersive) interface? I sincerely believe so.

    Or am I overthinking it?
    That small tweak would make the UI much more immersive. However, most apps don't do it. Why? because it's more work, requires more thought, and most people are only worrying about the lowest version of Android they're supporting, offering feature parity instead of progressive enhancement.
    ManiacJoe likes this.
    02-01-2017 05:06 PM
  12. Sidhanth Agarwal's Avatar
    I'm not entirely sure about that. Google hasn't implemented the strategy in any of their apps either.
    02-05-2017 12:57 AM
  13. Vyrlokar's Avatar
    well, Google often does not implement it's own ideas!

    I know Nova Launcher does it, and they had the feature up and ready real fast, so it isn't that hard.
    02-05-2017 02:24 PM
  14. Sidhanth Agarwal's Avatar
    Haha ok. Thanks.
    02-07-2017 12:32 AM
  15. pofadda's Avatar
    Haha ok. Thanks.
    ... And thank you, too, for raising this point; it really does look better. I know this because I, too, have the delightful Nova launcher and used it to implement it. I just have to avoid wallpapers with very light tops and bottoms.
    Sidhanth Agarwal likes this.
    02-07-2017 09:24 AM

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