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I really appreciate Evan's work, but I'm having an hard time understanding the use of the floating button, so dear to Material. "Since we hidden all the features in a drawer, here's a coloured blob over your content.". It's (arguably) easier to reach, but is it really a better use of the (now humongous) screen estate?
Dropbox's team work? Just to clarify this was an unsolicited redesign, just for fun and personal exploration.
Regarding Material, have you used it on an Android phone? I think the nav drawer works because all of Google's apps use it, and nearly all other third-party apps will as well. As long as the user knows it's there, it won't cause any problems (as it does on iOS for engagement). Same goes for the floating action button. On its own in a single app, it might not make that much sense, but if many apps on the same platform use the button consistently to surface the main actions, the consistency will allow users to know exactly how to use your app, and what's important, within seconds of opening it for the first time. That said, a FAB doesn't need to be used all the time. In this case, because of the left-aligned titles, the button doesn't obscure any content, but there are cases where it might make sense to keep the primary action in the app bar instead to keep the content visible. :)
Sorry, brain fart on my part, I'll edit the first part of the comment :)
The main problem with the drawer for me is the increasing screen size of the devices, swiping from one edge or reaching for the hamburger button is starting to feel clunky at best. I fell into the "everything needs to be a side menu" tunnel in the past though, so much that I wrote an iOS library when there were none available. :) Now I have to say that I feel on the same page with Apple regarding the matter.
I agree that, especially for people with larger phones and smaller hands (or an unfortunate combination of the two), nav drawers can be a hassle. But, given that most primary actions on iOS are located in the nav bar, I don't think that's Apple's primary concern. Tab bars definitely increase engagement, particularly on iOS where there is no officially supported nav drawer library. However, tabs have a distinctly different usage on Android, and as a designer it's important to respect the platform and try to implement things in a way that are familiar and expected to the user.
Personally, I think both Google's Material and Apple's HIG have their own set of pros and cons, and most apps will probably need a different approach for each to make the best of the design patterns.
I couldn't agree more on the respect of the system's patterns, just to be clear, mine was just a general consideration on Material Design. It's true that most actions on iOS are placed in the nav bar, but there's also the handy double tap on the home button that brings everything down. It's a lazy solution though, both Apple's HIG and Google's MD should start tackling an issue that is becoming apparent with the constant increase of screen sizes.
Agreed on all accounts, the double-tap home button seems like a hack. Android at least has on-screen buttons for navigation between apps, and back through the current app, and I suspect that the FAB was meant for this purpose as well. But screen size (and resolution) handling are weaknesses for both companies right now.
I totally agree with that, I feel like these principals have been inherited on the web and as phone sizes continue to get bigger its an issue that should be corrected
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