[Update: It’s True] Palm Loses Lead User Interface Designer, Could Be Headed to Google

All Things D is reporting that Matias Duarte – Palm’s senior director of human interface and user experience – has left the company post-HP acquisition and might be making his way into the Googleplex. Duarte lead the development of Palm’s webOS UI which – I have to admit – was one pretty interface.


His departure has been confirmed, but his destination is unofficially being pinpointed at Google with the Android team. Should the rumor turn out to be true, it’ll be pretty exciting to see how Google uses Duarte’s expertise for future versions of Android. While there are still many of us who believe vanilla Android is the greatest thing since Android’s debut (come on, sliced bread isn’t that great anymore), there are still a ton of people who thinks Android’s UI could stand to be a bit more user friendly.

ATD’s contacted both Google and Duarte for comment, but neither have yet to respond. If they do (and if they confirm Duarte’s seat at the Android round table) we’ll update just as fast as they’re able to.

[Update]: And not even moments after we reported the story, Engadget’s confirming the rumor to be true indeed. Mr. Matias Duarte is now the new User Experience Director for Android at Google. Congratulations to both parties involved in this exciting move and we sure can’t wait to see what influence Matias has on Android going forward.

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  • http://www.chazclout.co.uk/ Chaz_UK
  • MonkeyCheese

    That’s a good thing for Android. I think Duarte could do a lot of great things for Android. The Palm UI is great and I would know cause I have one but I’ll be getting an Evo in July.

  • Claudio

    Welcome Duarte!

  • Franta H.

    I think Android really needs more focus on UI and user experience. BTW, why are most Android apps much uglier than iPhone apps?

  • Darkseider

    Not could be headed. IS at Google as the “User Experience Director” for Android.


  • veeco

    Confirmed @engadet: http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/27/palms-matias-duarte-has-joined-google-as-user-experience-direct/

    He also worked on sidekick and helio. Should do good things for Android UI.

  • jo

    Duarte? Is he mexican? he looks mexican enough. let me see his papers.
    (that joke was for my boy, john mcain.. friend of google’s since 1854)

  • http:phandroid.com dannydarko

    Welcome M.D bring on the Web-Droid vanilla

  • RPG

    Franta H,

    Because all you Apple kiss asses love all things Apple!

  • Quentyn Kennemer

    @Darkseider we posted this story before Engadget confirmed it.

  • http://www.omgandroid.com OMG Android Application Tips

    This sounds good.
    This means that Android will look more pretty.

  • Covert

    lol @ Franta H.

    because apple tells you what menu’s and have to look like by only allowing you to change the words, for android you gotta make the whole thing…

    as far as this goes. i realllly like the techy feel of android, i like webOS but i prefer what android does, if he makes it webOS-ish ill be pissed, but if he just makes the UI better then im on board, i mean things like adding the phone button next to the app launcher like in froyo, that is a needed feature

  • jo

    hmmm.. that’s a tough decision. make it web-osish and please most everyone.. or keep it vanilla and please you. hmmm

  • gameboid

    This is nothing but GREAT news! We all love android, but this will only help to improve an already successful OS!

  • Joe V

    @gameboid, x2… couldn’t have said it better.. :D

  • ari-free

    We have all these custom UI’s for android because there is a vacuum. Stock has to look amazing so that nobody would bother with a custom UI and everyone would have the latest updates. That’s really the bottom line for me.
    What android probably needs to do is have a new UI framework based on hardware acceleration, like what we see for desktops. Themable buttons/controls and more richness and guidelines so that anyone can make an app that looks good.