Saturday, 2 April 2011

twitter app's quick action and action bar implementation fail

twitter app was initially developed by Google for twitter and it was the benchmark for many of design patterns (see this old Android developer blog post). After the initial release twitter took over from Google and released a new version of it few months ago.

In the latest version they took the twitter app closer to the iOS version byt ditching many of the Android UI patterns and replacing them with iOS. Unfortunately these UI solutions feel alien on Android and don't really work as expected.

Quick Actions

Long pressing or swiping a tweet opens actions that can be performed on the tweet. Unfortunately doing that hides the selected tweet. This is the worst possible placement for the actions as it hides the only tweet on the screen that has any relevance to the actions. Compare this to the previous implementation bellow which keeps the selected tweet visible and helps the user to keep track of the context.

Action Bar

The new twitter app still uses action bar but fails on one important matter. The actions shown on the action bar are not relevant to the screen that is visible. For example in this screen bellow (tweet details) the offered actions are search and compose new tweet. Neither of them make really sense in this screen. On the other hand the actions are displayed on the bottom of the screen in similar way they're in the iOS app. The actions from the screen bottom should be moved into the action bar for better consistency.