Badger Maps Android Design

Android was developed much, much later (as in, perhaps 3 years after iOS).

There were a few reasons for this:

  • Most of our customers are in the US, and a vast majority of the US market that is willing to spend money on an application like ours will buy an iPhone.
  • We had a responsive webapp that made it so we had at least some sort of solution for Android. Yes, it was a web wrapper. No, it was not great. But it was decent, and it worked well enough.
Our primary Android screens
Our primary Android screens

Eventually, we had larger team customers come knocking that demanded feature parity with iOS and we got to work.

Design Differences

While I would love to say that Android offered a greenfield project where I could be as creative as I’d like, there were certain realities that I was beholden to. Namely, we wanted team customers with a mix of iPhone and Android to be able to learn from each other and ask each other questions. We also wanted to reduce the burden on our support and sales teams in terms of training and troubleshooting. If everything was almost the same, you could guide someone through the app using your own device without any issues.

Really the project was more about wrapping my head around the norms of material design, and seeing if I could map it to iOS in a pretty clean way. It turned out in the last year or two that material design had thrown in the towel on tab-bars and realized they were huge for usability.

What does this mean for you, the reader? Essentially, it’s very difficult to tell the two applications apart. They use the same workflows, the same icons, and the same structure.

Visually though? Here are some good side-by-side examples:

Differences between the account detail screens
Differences between the account detail screens
Differences between the account list screens
Differences between the account list screens
Differences between the route list screens
Differences between the route list screens

The goal was a application that worked like the iOS application, but felt home on Android. I think we nailed it.