Project 1

Mobile App Critique/Analyzation

Google Drive (iOS)IMG_2724

The design of this app is strongly rooted in Google’s ‘Material Design’ design language. It is cl easy to read, and not overly frilly. The navigation makes
sense with its easy to understand ‘add’ button and menu button in the top left. Google Drive ‘Makes Important Things Fast’ by having the ‘add’ button readily accessible on any screen, with a narrow set of options to make it easier to use. Despite Apple discouraging showing any sort of file system in their design ideals, I think Google pulls it off nicely with this one.


iMovie (iOS)IMG_2725

Despite the usual complexity of video editors, Apple manages to make this one extremely simple and easy to use, while still staying just as powerful as their desktop offerings. The target audience might be people wanting to make family and home videos while still on vacation. The navigation of the app when you first open it is simple, allowing you to look at your current projects or start a new one, then it drops you into a simple timeline and video view.the simplicity of the controls for cutting and editing clips works well, however I would improve it by actually giving it access to some form of file system for music and images and other clips. iMovie ‘Does the Heavy Lifting For Me’ by making cutting and normalizing volume and adding background music absurdly simple.

Youtube (iOS)IMG_2726

Despite its popularity and the fact everyone probably already knows how to use it, Youtubes app design is not simple. The only simple part is is at the home screen, where you tap the video to watch. The navigation of the videos makes sense, but past that, there seems to be no standard for how everything is laid out. The navigation bar at the bottom seems to work well, however I believe the top navigation bar needs to be vastly improved, as well as removing the feature that video pages lay over-top everything in vertical mode. I would say that ‘Decide For Me But Let Me Have The Final Say’ applies here, because when you finish a video, it automatically cues up a similar one next but still gives you a few seconds to cancel before it auto plays.

Duolingo (iOS)IMG_2727

The design of this app is simple and quirky, yet easy to understand and feels good to people of all ages. The simple navigation bar at the bottom makes use of icons to tell you what they are, always allowing you to go back too. The simple, round buttons in the middle of the screen to select a challenge level work well letting you know where to go next. The principle of ‘Pictures are Faster Than Words’ applies to this app, with its extensive use of picture icons to hint at what the button might lead to, be it the next food vocabulary course or the chat bot tab at the bottom. This app is easy to use and well designed in my opinion.

WeMo (iOS)IMG_2728

Despite the age of this app and the fact its interface has not been changed in years, it still follows good design principles. The target audience might be a young adult with a connected power outlet for his lamp. The organization of the app immediately makes sense by having the menu for managing your devices immediately visible with minimal navigation buttons at the bottom.The app works well for simplicity, however it would be nice if they widened their feature set a little with maybe a timer for the devices. ‘Real Objects Are More Fun Than Buttons Or Menus’ applies here because they give you a small picture of your device as well as a fun power switch that toggles satisfyingly.

Uber (iOS)IMG_2729

The target audience of Uber is almost everyone, and their simple layout of having a map with cars on it and simple icons at the bottom works fairly well. The easy, drag and drop style map works well for mobile, making it easy to define a pickup point. One thing that they could improve upon however is making it easier to find out what the options at the bottom of the screen actually mean — they don’t tell you what UberX or UberPool actually is. ‘Delight Me In Surprising Ways’ applies here because it is pleasant and fun to be able to see the little cars on the map while you are setting your pickup point. This app flows well, despite the lack of descriptors for ride type.

Simple (iOS)IMG_2730

Simples banking app is the best designed banking app that I’ve seen, implementing a consistent design language throughout their app and website. The main screen is simple showing a comfortable list of your past transactions, with a navigation bar at the bottom with icons that lead you to support, goals, and money transfer options. This might be improved by making the icons a little more understandable for first time users. This app ‘Gets To Know Me’ by tracking the categories I spend money in and setting intelligent goals for me based on my spending habits. Overall a good experience.


Runkeeper (iOS)IMG_2731

Runkeeper is a run tracking app and does so with simplicity. There is one big button in the middle that says ‘Go Running’ and you can just tap it and go, with easy map tools for mapping your run after. The navigation is a little confusing at first, but easy to understand once you figure it out. This app ‘Keeps It Brief’ by providing you with minimal options, allowing you to just go out and run. My only gripe is with having useful features locked behind a paywall.



WolframAlpha (iOS)IMG_2732

This app is probably targeted at upper level students or scientists looking to simplify their research. The simple search bar at the top with one button for settings and another for photo input makes getting the answer to your problems easy, as well as their opening screen with many different icons leading you to categories of example problems. ‘Only Show What I Need When I Need It’ works well here because when you are looking at your equations, all the navigation and menus are hidden away nicely, maximizing screen real estate for the data.


Google Translate (iOS)IMG_2733

This app is dead simple and follows the design language of ‘Material Design’. The target audience for this app is probably students or foreign travelers on business or vacation, and this apps simplicity works well for all situations. There is a simple box for entering text, and two menus for translating to and from. the navigation is just 3 icons, allowing you to move from the translation page, to favorites, to setting easily on a mobile device. This app ‘Makes Important Things Fast’ by automatically detecting what language you are typing in and also allows for just taking pictures of text and it will translate it. This app works well on a mobile platform and looks good.