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A Computational Method for Evaluating UI Patterns

by   Bardia Doosti, et al.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Indiana University Bloomington

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.


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