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Redesigning the Topgear App

Marie Schweiz's Android Design Workflow

Anyone who isn't familiar with Topgear (at least in the English speaking part of the world) may deserve a smack on the back of his/her head for ignoring popular culture.
Just in case, here's the short version: Topgear is a terribly popular television show broadcasted by the BBC. It's about cars – fast and awesome cars of any kind. And about the three guys hosting it who are as funny and witty as it gets.

I redesigned their Android app, because, well… it was awful. This is a showcase of what I did and how I pulled it off.

1. The Original Material

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You can see clearly that this was ported straight from the iOS and just doesn't work for Android.

2. The Concept

In scribbled wireframes I have laid out what is to become a solid, nicely working Android app. You get the notion: it is pretty complex at first, but that's exactly what a good UI design should do: break apart complex structures and make them accessible for the user. Here you get some insight on the information architecture and the thoughts I put into it, featuring the overall purpose of the app, the structure of the presentation, and the proposals for individual screens.

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3. The Redesign Process

From the scribbled layouts of the app screens, the content structure and the navigation, I dove into Illustrator to really take everything apart and build it anew.

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So now, to the individual screens of the app: I stuck very closely to the Android guidelines, as you will see. No gradients or skeuomorphisms – everything's flat now. You really start focusing on the content instead of the UI, which is even more important for such a feature rich, complex app as this one. One more aspect that shouldn't be forgotten is staying true to the branding as much as possible.

The News Screen

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The Seasons Screen

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The Car Reviews Screen

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Oh yeah, and don't forget about the rich notifications:

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4. The Results

Initially, I laid out a hierarchy of the app. With this in mind I designed the screens to make them match:

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Now think way, way back: remember the original material? The result has little in common with it anymore. Man, that was easy. I wonder what took me so long.

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Publication Paradigms for Longform Web Content

Transitioning from a blog to an online magazine

Lines 1.0 – Simple Responsive Publishing for Ruby on Rails


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