Droid delight

  1. Delight me in surprising ways
  2. Real objects are more fun than buttons and menus
  3. Keep it brief
  4. It’s not my fault
  5. Sprinkle encouragement

Five of the 17 Design Principles for building on the Android platform. Co.Design details from the 2013 I/O session how Google’s team weighs interface choices with “jars of emotion”:

3 positives to 1 negative

The team follows the guiding rationale of psychologist Barbara L. Fredrickson, who discovered that it takes three positive emotions to outweigh every negative one. […] Each time an Android feature lives up to these expectations, they get a single marble in the good emotion jar. But every time they fail, that bad feature produces three marbles in the bad emotion jar. The marbles illustrate that bad ideas stack up quickly.

So when you reach the leftmost or rightmost home screen, this is the interaction they came up with: the flat, invisible surface that you swipe on tilts as you “tug” on it, as the boundaries and the gleam of a glassy pane appears.

Android last homescreen interaction

Google opted to create a glimmering animation when users reached the last screen instead. And not only does this solution eliminate the problems created by the other designs, it gains four positive marbles for delighting in surprising ways, sprinkling encouragement, using pictures instead of words, and becoming a UI trick that could work in other places.

Positive reinforcement indeed! Also as the zine notes, the discussion on choice of words for labels and notifications in the video is great. Never underestimate the power of good copy—it’s your direct line to communicating with your users. Even that term should be revamped.

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Design × Code × Words for a better Web,
made in the Philippines by Sophia Lucero.