This past Sunday, March first, Samsung had its “Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2015” an event where they show all the advances and new features of the new models Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. They surprised us with its curved screen, the 10 minute charger, and the new phone colours. However as a graphic designer I was surprised by the change in the graphics of the UX interface.
Hyeun Yeul Lee, vicepresident of the innovation UX team, said that the changes were made based on the feedback from consumers in order to make it more intuitive and easy to use. Let’s start with what I think is great, first they reduced the menu items, which I love because the more options, the greater the confusion; they also simplify the graphics in a very Google-ish style: light typography, flat design, lots of white and bright colours, which to me is not surprising, but it does make it friendlier to the eye. Another thing I liked was that they assigned representative colours to different applications, green for calls, purple for video and orange for contacts, this, I think is very practical because it unifies the sections in a fast way, so users can associate screens and avoid the question “Where am I?”.
Now, the part that doesn’t convince me. They decided to replace some icons for text! This change doesn’t seem very smart for me, but it has its pros and cons. The aim of the icons is to simplify and represent actions in a simple and easy way so everyone everywhere can understand them, it is true that often we don’t know what they mean, but this happens because of mistakes in the design and testing, so to avoid these confusions Samsung decided to replace the icons for text. It is true that in this way everyone will understand the actions in an easier way, but what it’s going to happen when the text became longer because it’s not the same a word in English than in Spanish or German, the icons save space that’s why they are very useful in the design of digital interfaces, text can’t do that.
Besides saving space icons have the size and shape so they can be easily seen, text doesn’t, its length doesn’t allow it to be big. Maybe Samsung thinks that only the young people will use their phones, but the truth is that there are many adults that can’t see well who use them, someones can’t even see what they write, and I think the change of the icons to text will complicate the reading for those people. In conclusion, I really liked that the simple menus, the friendly design, and the color coding, I’m still doubting about the text instead of icons. Anyway, we’ll have to wait until April to see how it word, I think Samsung knows what it’s doing, I hope so.
But well.. at least this is my f opinion.