What we say
(If you want to skip the details below, you can go straight to the video and features list on the product page).
In previous posts we’ve talked about how, despite some growing pains, we thought Android looked very interesting as a phone platform in the medium to long term. That’s definitely starting to take shape with recent handset announcements showing how UI innovation can be done on top of Android.
However, none of the designs so far seem to provide quite what we’re looking for in a phone interface. Hoping that there are other people out there like us, we’ve teamed up with our friends at Ideas on Purpose to show what our ideal home screen would look like. After several iterations we ended up with this:
The main idea is to separate your personal information from things of general interest. So, emails, phone calls and things directed specifically at you go above the status bar, while feeds and public information go below. Then, depending on the situation, you can drag the status bar up or down to indicate what type of information you’re more interested in. The newest entries of each type are prioritized in the layout, so you always see the most recent items possible given the space provided. The video on the product details page shows this in action.
There are a few principles and ideas that led us to this design:
- The home screen of your phone should strive to show you as much relevant information as possible.
- The interface to accomplish this should be information centric, as opposed to application centric. The iPhone is the current best case example of an application centric interface. Almost the entire screen is taken up with beautiful icons that tell you next to nothing. Rather than a number on an icon showing me how many new emails I have, I’d rather see some of those emails.
- The existing Android design with various widgets on a home screen is visually distracting from the purpose of those widgets: quick access to information. We wanted a uniform look to allow an increase in information density without overwhelming the user.
- Apply color coding across the entire interface to allow visual grouping of information by type. This also allows for higher information density by providing underlying structure and consistent cues to the user.
This project exists as a prototype and is currently the home screen for my phone. Being a prototype it has lots of bugs, but it seems to prove (at least to me) that the design works. This project is also an example of some of the strengths of Android as a platform. The access to information made available by system apps is truly outstanding. Not to mention the ability to have a 3rd party app become the home screen without low level changes to the OS is pretty amazing.
You can find further details, including a video of the interface in action, on the product page (the video is also on youtube) . There is also a PDF summary of the features that’s suitable for printing. And thanks again to Ideas on Purpose for taking our terrible drawings and turning them into something beautiful.
- Larva Labs previews Intelligent Home Screen – Android and Me
- homemanagement.co.in » Blog Archive » Larva Labs - Android Home Screen Design (with Video)
- Larva Labs Intelligent Homescreen: het ideale Android homescreen? - Android - Androidplanet.nl
- Mobile Tweaks | Larva Labs previews Intelligent Home Screen
- androfun - Larva Labs previews Intelligent Home Screen
- Larva Labs’s Proposal for an Android Home Screen | GeekStream Mac
- Intelligent Home Screen | Nerdlike.com
- Larva Labs' Intelligent Home Screen to Spice up Android | AndroidGuys
- HTC HERO Arrived today :D - Page 19 - HEXUS.community discussion forums
- links for 2009-09-22 « Boskabout