Google's head of design thinks the iPhone's software design can feel 'heavy and burdensome'

Matías Duarte, Google’s head of design, has given his view on what the future holds for Android in an interview with Wired UK.

According to Duarte, a change in the way we use technology across more devices — smartphones, the Internet of Things, smartwatches — means that the traditional ideas about software design are over, and new ones need to be created.

“As we get more and more screens and more and more devices that are smart, both integrated into our homes but also on our bodies, it’s creating new types of problems that are going to create a new type of opportunity,” he said.

Duarte describes the iPhone, which was the first modern smartphone, as a “crystallizing moment” in the design of smartphone software. However, he says that the iPhone’s success was never guaranteed.

“It would have been very easy, if Apple had been a year later to market, that instead the market’s expectations of what a smartphone should be crystallised around something that’s more like what the Blackberry was.”

Duarte says that the iPhone’s success was “fairly positive” but “it also crystallised a lot of other things that were kind of stayed even by that point, like the rows of icons, which don’t scale very well.” He points out one specific element of the iOS in particular: “[The] idea of a tiny grid that you manually curate starts to feel very heavy and burdensome.”

When pushed by Wired, Duarte declined to share specifics on Google’s future product designs.

Read the full interview from Wired.

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