[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.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. 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.

  2. Welcome Duarte!

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

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


  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. Welcome M.D bring on the Web-Droid vanilla

  8. Franta H,

    Because all you Apple kiss asses love all things Apple!

  9. @Darkseider we posted this story before Engadget confirmed it.

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

  11. 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

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

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

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

  15. 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.

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