Google play is the latest iteration of the Android marketplace. I will not discuss the features of Google play and how they differ from the past iterations. Instead, I thought it would be interesting to see the changes from an interface design perspective. Of course, I am not a UI expert but I like to share my views as a user and designer on the different Android marketplace iterations.
Here is the first android marketplace design. It is a very basic design with limited colors. The design works but it doesn’t inspire you to stay longer than you need to for any app purchase. The navigation was limited and there wasn’t much room to allow exploration of the different apps by the user.
Overall, it wasn’t a very visually appealing site when compared to Apple app store.
The next version of the android marketplace was launched around early 2011. It featured a lot of improvements over the old website. In terms of colors and design, the new design is more vibrant and encourage a lot more exploration. Navigation wise, there were more categories such as ‘featured’ and ‘top paid’ that were missing in the old design. The whole store section also allows more apps to be shown at once, thus giving more developers room for showcase.
Recently, the whole website was revamped and re-branded and is now known as Google play. The whole design is much ‘softer’ as can be seen by the use of lighter lines and more white space. In terms of navigation, the top apps were moved to the left, and allowed more editorial picks to be featured on the main store section. I think this design principle is an attempt to rely less on algorithm when providing a discovery layer for the users. A very bold move and one that I will be watching closely in the news.
I hope you find this tour of Google Play’s design history a fun little distraction for your coming weekend.