Creating delightful new user experiences on Android
Mobile continues to be a critical component of work by providing flexibility to get work done at any time, from anywhere - in fact, more and more of our Box users are working on their content from their Android devices. It's important that our customers can be productive from their mobile device, and that their mobile experience makes solving problems as easy and efficient as possible, no matter the industry or line of business. Today I'm excited to announce the availability of a brand new Box experience on Android devices.
Over the past year our engineering, product and design teams have been re-examining the foundation and design of our mobile apps in order to create a delightful, more engaging user experience for Android users to view, manage, and create content. We've built a familiar, native experience that reduces the learning curve for new users, so that customers can be instantly productive without wasting money or time on-boarding new users. To accomplish this sense of familiarity, we embraced the familiar patterns of Material Design as our common philosophy and carry it through development in every layer of the app. This framework allowed us to share a natural language used by many app designers and a pattern that is familiar and comfortable for Android users.
We first studied the way people work on mobile devices. We identified different types of individuals using our app and found that their usage varied depending on the type of work they were doing. Across all users, goals and processes, we found a common requirement; no matter the role, all users needed information at their finger tips. The ability to access, consume, and respond on the go were vital activities that crossed all occupations and organizations. We built the app so that the actions needed to perform any of these activities were prominently exposed. Viewing, sharing, and iterating on feedback were the most useful actions and by grouping them together in natural locations within the app, we could improve productivity. Accessing and editing a Box Note or an Office file is more natural via simple flows that help you share content securely with anyone including external partners.
With these principles guiding the redesign, we focused on accentuating each action with the excitement and energy it deserved. The overall user interface is focused on subtle simplicity - we highlight this principle in the improved real estate which give text and content room to breathe.
The iconography makes it easy to find the right files and provides clear context around them so that access and understanding is quick and easy.
Like many contemporary workspaces, we've designed the new app to foster open communication and teamwork so that people can easily collaborate within Box. Whether you're in an office or on the road, the new Box for Android app allows the flow of conversations to continue effortlessly. Our layout design exposes the right tools at the right time, making collaboration and commenting a finger tap away.
Icons, lists and buttons are now real objects that move, and come alive with every touch. Sheets slide over the main content page to present supplemental information and actions. This is most effectively seen in our FAB (Create button) - options gently bounce out of their container and just as efficiently hide away when not in use.
In addition to creating a strong, mobile foundation so that our users to have a quality, mobile experience, we want these same qualities extended to our developers building mobile apps using Box SDKs. Last year we announced native SDKs for Android that our developers could use to power their apps, allowing them to reduce their time and associated costs of app development while leveraging Box to power unique mobile viewing experiences. The Box for Android app has been completely rebuilt using these same SDKs. Moving forward, features built into the SDKs will naturally benefit all Box mobile apps, and in turn will ensure that the SDKs remain relevant and feature rich. As we invest further in the user experience of our app, our partners will naturally benefit.
Our vision is that Box can become a pivotal place in our developers ecosystem; by investing in a common stack between the platform and product, we can help other developers address vertical use cases and escalate their ability to solve new unique problems. This new end user and developer experience is one step of many to come as we continue building meaningful additions that support our community and empower them to transform work. Box for Android 4.0 is a new experience that we're overwhelming proud of, and we can't wait for you to try it - download it today!
Join us at BoxWorks 2016 (September 6-8, 2016) to learn more about using Box in your organization and building custom apps on the Box Platform.