Samsung, LG Hires New Design Experts to Improve User Experience


Following in Google’s footsteps to bring about a “prettier” Android, Samsung and LG have hired design experts to improve the user interface and experience on their handsets – including those with Android. Specifically, Samsung looked to former professor of visual communication design for Kookmin University in Seoul – Jung Ji-hong – to help with TouchWiz UI on both Android and Bada handsets (his official title with the company is Vice President of the Mobile Design Group).


LG, on the other hand, took former dean of KAIST’s (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) industrial design department Lee Kun-pyo to do the same thing for their handsets (his title is Vice President of Design Management Center). While many have their own reservations on TouchWiz, S-Class UI, or any custom user interface on top of Android, it’s clear that Samsung and LG themselves feel they’re not providing the best experience.

I personally don’t see an issue with their current offerings, but I’m also one of those design-crippled “weirdos” that actually prefer the look of Vanilla Android (even in its 1.1 days). It’ll be quite interesting to see how these new additions to each respective manufacturer’s staff will shape their next round of flagship Android phones.

[Korea Herald via Unwired View]

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. I don’t know anyone who prefers touchwiz. The first thing most samsung users do not is install Launcher Pro or ADW.

  2. the first thing the hardware makers have to do is take their proprietary dreck out.

    i need blur like i need jock itch.

  3. I like that there’s a music player widget in the notification pane with touchwiz. Makes it easy to control music no matter what app you’re in. That’s pretty much it tho.

  4. Here is the deal with Touch Wiz. Those who are not android enthusiast will find it just fine. I was in the T-Mobile store and watched a regular gal (non geeky type) ask all sorts of questions about a Vibrant and she was rather excited about her purchase. New users will not have any problem with a modified interface because they are happy that the phone just performs. If anything all these phone manufacturers need to just add a simple way to turn it off for everyone else who does not want it.

  5. All these manufacturers should just accept the fact that they would save money and time updating if they just realized that vanilla android looks and performs great.

  6. As a Galaxy S owner, I don’t think there is a problem with the UI (or the apps) that Samsung have developed for the phone in The Netherlands.

    I don’t even need the update to Froyo. The phone is great as is.

    I hope the new VP can accommodate the different cultural backgrounds of the Galaxy users and maintain phones that attract everyone.

    The Galaxy is great and I hope Samsung can build on the momentum they have gained from the phone. But that will only occur if the UI meets the needs and expectations of users.

  7. I think people should say Goodbye to vanilla Android on handsets from the big companies. Just look at what’s happening. All the biggies such as HTC, Motorola, Samsung, Sony.. all have their proprietary interface on top of Android.

    And all leaked future handsets are running variations of their interface as well.

    I know Google is hoping that Gingerbread will eliminate the need for these OEM interfaces, but it’s not going to happen. All these companies are seeking to differentiate their user experience.

    The Nexus One may be the last great phone with stock Android shipped on it. If you want stock Android in the future you’ll probably be rooting your phone and loading it (unless you own a Motorola).

  8. Hopefully this represents something of a new beginning for Samsung and LG – a better UI that can rival HTC’s Sense.

    Another thing that would be even more useful would be to promptly keep up with the latest Android versions for all phones for 2 years.

    Time will tell if things change.

  9. They should save their money because Google’s going to pwn them with Gingerbread. What they need is an option to turn off touchwiz.

  10. who knows what gingerbread will be like? You always have to be a step ahead

  11. @Dave: Let me be the first. I like Vanilla Android, but so far I have no intention on switching from TouchWiz on my Galaxy S. I can’t believe the incredible amount of hatred towards it. Before I got the phone I didn’t know if I would like it or not. I have no problem with its iPhone-likeness, as many people seem to. It amazes me that people would refuse to buy the phone because of TouchWiz (even though you are not forced to use it), as I saw some state in various forums. That’s pretty silly.

    @Chris: I do agree with you, though. I think HTC Sense provides the best UI experience thus far. It is very polished.

    However, as with many choices it all comes down to personal preference, IMHO. I don’t know if I would bother switching from TouchWiz to HTC Sense or Vanilla Anroid, though. That seems like more hassle than it is worth. There was a time when I would relish customizing my computer/gadget/phone to the extent of replacing the “shell”. These days, I just don’t care. The phone works great as is, so unless there is a compelling reason to do so, I have better things to do. Oh, and for the record I do have LauncherPro installed, and while I like it, I just haven’t found a compelling reason to switch. Samsung did a very good job with TouchWiz (at least v3.0).

    Choice — the joy of Android!

  12. They should hire new designers for their phones instead. Ugly phones from LG and Samsung.

  13. I actually like TouchWiz 3.0 on my Vibrant. I don’t really mind the launcher, and I actually prefer the other changes that Samsung made over Android. I like the music controls in the notifications bar, the power cntrols in the notification bar, the feeds and updates widgets, the way the music app looks (aka not completely hideous and actually usable), and I’m excited for Samsung Media Hub. I like stock Android fine, but I think these custom UI’s add a lot of useful features that make me not care about whether or not I get 2.2 now or in 4 weeks.

  14. Why? I’m perfectly fine with stock android.

  15. Im not a fan of the vanilla launcher. I prefer hTC Sense and ADW.
    Having options is a good thing.
    Believe it or not, just as many people dislike vanilla android or even just don’t care as their are people who love it.

  16. Just got my first android phone, Samsung Vibrant 2 days ago. Can’t keep it down. Loving the TouchWiz interface. Samsung is surely stepping up their game. Huge upgrade from nokia 6030. LOL

    People like to stick with whatever UI of android they got first. They don’t like change. Change then becomes a burden for them because there is a learning curve, and the sense of unfamiliarity. Then they start bashing changes and choices. :) –> just my thought.

  17. and just think, for a few bucks, they could have asked any one of us.


  18. required phisical damo

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