First thing’s first, I was initially an iPhone user. My first smartphone was an iPhone 4S that I bought when I was eighteen. Four years and two broken screens later I made the brave decision to give up on iOS and move to Android. It was a decision that I had been fearing for months, my iPhone 6 was slowing down and I was starting to be wooed by the better specs of Android devices. A combination of three factors made the decision for me..
- Headphone jack. I’m the type of person who drops their phone A LOT. Headphones have saved my phone countless times (but not every time, RIP iPhones 4S and 6). As well as being a lifeline for my phone I tend to walk around cities with my phone in my back pocket and music playing on my headphones assures me that my phone has not been stolen, a terrible paranoid excuse but you nearly get pickpocketed by a child in Berlin and you’ll understand.
- Camera. The camera quality on my iPhone 6 couldn’t compete with the amazing dual Leica lenses on the Huawei P10 Plus. Sick of carrying a DSLR around I wanted something that would be a decent alternative that I would always have in my pocket.
- Headphone jack. So important it deserves two bullet points! I lose wired headphones constantly, I can’t be trusted with Bluetooth headphones!
Over a year later it would appear that I am a happy, blissful Android user who scoffs at iPhone users with their headphone adapters and lack of expandable memory, if that’s the case why am I writing this article? Enter my chosen profession, a UI designer.
For the past few months I’ve been working on an iOS apps project, this means using iPhones in our device testing lab for research as well as testing. For the first time in months I was using an iPhone, more specifically I was using iOS 11, the operating system that was announced only a fortnight after I went over to the dark side. Initially I was lost in iOS, it had only been a few months, yet I couldn’t figure out how to do simple tasks, the gestures and the buttons were foreign to me.
Having said that, the more I used these devices the more I longed for my old iPhone back. It’s nothing to do with the functionality of my Huawei or the features. This phone isn’t lacking anything that the iPhone has, it’s a great phone even after a year of use and drops, it even has far superior hardware to the latest iPhones, (that wonderful headphone jack for instance).
However, what the iPhone is outperforming on is the experience. Technically the UX on my Huawei is perfectly good but what it’s missing is that little extra piece that the iPhone has, motion. The way in which iOS adds a slight touch of motion as it moves between elements or screens adds so much to the experience of using an iPhone. The animation of an app closing back to the icon, the motion of swipes and the movement of pages. I can use the same apps in the same way on my Android device, but it feels better on iPhone. The best way I can describe this use of motion within their UX is if you imagine a burger.
Every burger starts with the meat, or a vegetarian substitute, this is what you’re there for, the main ingredient that you need in order for it to be a burger. In a website or app this is the UI, you have a problem and this is what allows you to solve it. The back end functionality is the bun, it holds everything together and makes it work. Combine these two elements and you have a burger, it might not be the best, award winning burger but it will do its job of filling you. Perhaps next we consider the branding, style, and iconography etc. to be the lettuce, tomato, whatever toppings you prefer, they make it your burger just like your typography and visuals make a website or app your brands.
Some may say at this point that motion is the milkshake or perhaps the onion rings you have alongside the burger, or even the dessert afterwards, a nice extra and not part of the burger. You may say you have a perfectly good burger there, but I would ask what about cheese? Cheese is an additional charge that you don’t need so why would you bother paying for it? Cheese is the motion/animation in your product. You don’t need it, I’ll be the first to admit you don’t need motion in your website or app but just like the difference between a hamburger and a cheeseburger that little extra makes the overall product so much better. There’s lots of types of cheese just like there are lots of different ways you can add motion to your UX. You can go classic and have some cheddar, adding some interest to hover states and transitions or you can go the whole way and go for custom load screens and animated icons, it’s up to you and your product’s needs.
This is what Apple do, they give you a cheeseburger, the greatest cheeseburger you’ll ever taste. The best of ingredients with the perfect amount of melted cheese keeping it all together. My Huawei P10 Plus has excellent features but it’s a hamburger, it’s the hamburger you get in your local restaurant that fills you, you’d order it again, it had some nice toppings, it hit the spot but its not worth raving about. The iPhone UX however, is a cheeseburger from Bunsen, the best you’ve ever had that you can’t help but recommend to anyone who asks, you rave about it and crave it, you even compare it to Apple products in UX blog posts!
Originally published at arekibo.com.