5 Mistakes to Avoid in Android UI Design

Saurabh Tiwary | 2nd January 2017

Designing user interfaces for the Smart Devices is a bit challenging when we compare it with the desktop applications. The space availability is the prime concern in the smartphones while there is a much of room and breathing space in case of desktop-based apps. While bigger displays can achieve clarity but mobile based android and iOS apps manages icons and micro-interactions to provide better accessibility.

5 Mistakes to Avoid in Android UI Design

Designing applications for the Android-based mobile device have been quite simpler in the past few years. The advent of cutting-edge technologies and the emergence of UI design tools have undoubtedly driven the mobile app UI design to the next level. In contrast to the iOS apps, Android UI aims to simplify the usability of the app.


When it comes to the design part of iOS and Android app, the Android design is an absolute winner. Just like the Android UI design, iOS saw a  shift away from the skeuomorphic shadows and focused much on the flatter designs. But, so far, Android UI is much clearer and more precise in the way it wants users to go about adopting this language.

In this article, I will walk you through some of the common design mistakes encountered in the Android UI design that can be avoided to come up with the utmost mobile User Interface.

1. Blocking the Main Thread

The purpose of the main thread is to keep the user interface responsive. It is quite complex to understand how our eyes see frames, but in general, anything below 24fps having a delay greater than 100 ms is not smooth UI.


The result of this delay is that user’s actions will have a delayed feedback. Also, the opened Android app might stop responding. Stripping the user of their control over the app leads to frustration, frustrated users tend to give very negative feedback.


2. Not Considering the Device Types

Most of the times UI developers and designers do not take into the account the adaptability of the app in different device types. Here I list some of key points to consider while dealing with the adaptability issues.

  • Density-independent pixels differ from the normal pixels.
  • Assets are included a number of times to account for different densities and orientations.
  • 9-patch images are suitable to be stretched automatically

To get rid of this i.e. without testing on multiple devices, Android Emulator might be a great choice.

Important Read, 9 Patch Images Using Android Asset Studio

3. Implementing UI Platforms of other Platforms

Simplicity and clean UI is the key to Android apps. Most of the UI designers tend to get ideas from other platforms instead of UI design elements guide of Android. This might be an out of the box approach for designers, but unfortunately, Android users might not appreciate the modified version of UI.

The Android UI design posses their own look and feel. Make sure to get ideas from the Android official website for developers and look for the material design guidelines; the Android app design principles.


4. No Use of Fragments

Fragments are very useful while optimizing for different types of screens. These are easily managed, can be reused, combined and positioned by their parent activity at will.

Employing a separate activity for every app screen might not be possible since the overall system keeps them in the memory as long as it can. Killing a process might not free the resources occupied by others.

5. Use of Carousels

Carousels are not useful in all types of app design. Although e-commerce website has been seen employing carousels and sliders to highlight certain products on their homepage, modern app design does not see the wide application of Carousels as waiting for every slide to move might be a tedious task instead of accessing it directly.

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Saurabh Tiwary

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