With some Android OEMs, they tend to install some pretty complicated looking UIs on their phones. On one hand it is understandable as they want to make their products as feature rich as possible. However the downside is that sometimes these UIs end up being very confusing to users who just want something simple.
Sony, for the most part, has done a good job at keeping their user interface on their mobile products pretty clean. It’s not exactly stock Android but its definitely less cluttered compared to other brands. That being said, Sony has recently unveiled a project that they are working on called EvolutionUI.
As the name suggests, this is a user interface that has the ability to evolve over time, depending on the user and how much they use it. Sony has applied the gamification term to the interface and have likened it to how gamers learn games. For example when starting a new game, the amount of skills and abilities your character has access to is limited, but as you progress, you start to unlock new skills and abilities that you can use.
According to Pal Szasz, software developer developer at Sony, “This is something we started to think about for smartphones as well, since many end users have problems with the complexity of their smartphone. When an end user starts a smartphone for the first time, he or she is faced with hundreds of features immediately. This is where the idea of the EvolutionUI started.”
The concept of EvolutionUI is pretty simple. It starts off with a phone interface that’s very basic and very limited, but as the user performs more actions, they get to unlock features. For example launch five applications could unlock the next feature, and so on. The idea is to provide positive feedback to the user, as well as teaching them how to use their phone, which might be great for the elderly or those who aren’t so tech savvy and might feel overwhelmed with the phone’s user interface.
This sounds like a great idea for those who are new to smartphones, although we can only imagine that advanced Android users might just end up being very frustrated at how limited their phones are right out of the box. Imagine you buy a new phone and you want to root it and flash a new ROM, but you have to jump through these hoops before being able to do so.
Thankfully the EvolutionUI is still in its research phase at the moment. Perhaps Sony could offer users the option of choosing their UI upon starting the phone for the first time, so that advanced users can skip it entirely, while newbies can slowly figure it out for themselves, but what do you guys think?