UI design languages, such as Google's Material Design, make applications both easier to develop and easier to learn by providing a set of standard UI components. Nonetheless, it is hard to assess the impact of design languages in the wild. Moreover, designers often get stranded by strong-opinionated debates around the merit of certain UI components, such as the Floating Action Button and the Navigation Drawer. To address these challenges, this short paper introduces a method for measuring the impact of design languages and informing design debates through analyzing a dataset consisting of view hierarchies, screenshots, and app metadata for more than 9,000 mobile apps. Our data analysis shows that use of Material Design is positively correlated to app ratings, and to some extent, also the number of installs. Furthermore, we show that use of UI components vary by app category, suggesting a more nuanced view needed in design debates.
DatasetWe used Rico Dataset which includes over 72,000 Android UI screens from over 9,700 popular apps across 27 categories on the Google Play Store in early 2017. Step 1:
- Used a generic keyword to find each material design element via JSON file.
- But some of the items found this way was irrelevant.
- Detecting false positives using their JPEG file.
- Trained a Convolutional Neural Network for each Material Design which is responsible to detect that element.
- Got >95% accuracy for each Material Design element.
Usage of Floating Action Buttons
Usage of Navigation Drawers
Material Design and App Quality
This work was done in Google in a summer internship program.