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Man Behind HTC’s Sense 4.0 Interviewed, Talks Inspiration and Toning Down

In a recent interview with Laptop Mag, HTC’s AVP of user experience Drew Bamford, was asked to spill his guts on the development of the new Sense 4.0 and how they were able to “tone it down.” As most folks here may know, we have had the general belief that the Sense UI, when placed atop vanilla Android, was bloating and made our devices lag all across the board while not adding anything that was incredibly needed by some. HTC have been listening and took many steps to minimize Sense down and make it more usable and an intuitive experience. 

When asked what inspired the newest version of Sense and its cleaner look, Drew had this to say:

We took inspiration from matte finishes that have become very popular in high-end automobiles, such as Mercedes and BMW. We also took a warmer approach to the color palette to make it feel more inviting and friendly.

Later in the discussion, he was asked how long his team had to work with ICS before having to create the final Sense 4.0 for the masses. Not surprisingly, they had very little time:

There was not a lot of time between when we saw Ice Cream Sandwich and when we released our Sense 4. In fact, we were designing things like our recent apps UI well in advance of when Ice Cream Sandwich came out. So really this represents our spacing on the best way to do it; it’s not an intentional rebuttal of the Ice Cream Sandwich design. It’s just a different approach that we eventually came up with.

If you have been reading our recent reviews of the new HTC One X and the One S, then you would have noticed our opinions of the Sense UI have changed greatly since our first encounters with it back in the DROID Incredible days. It’s cleaner, easier on the eyes, and actually works the way you would hope an overlay would. It adds good features while not taking too much away from the stock feel of Android.

To read the full interview, which I would recommend, follow the via link below. Have you been able to play with the new Sense UI? What are your thoughts?

Via: LaptopMag

Cheers Mark!

  • hi

  • What’s this guy’s address? I’d like to egg his house.

  • leetusername

    Pit STAIN!

  • jer85008

    If you need a special chip to run Sense 4, why does it work perfectly well on the Rezound with a custon ICS/Sense 4 ROM?

  • mudleyblind

    After Droid Incredible, even though that is the smoothest android phone until Nexus, I am going to go to the store and say “Other than HTC, show me other Android Phones”. Never pleased with Sense nor HTC’s quality service. Also on the side note: Camera got dust inside and can’t clean it (cheap Material!). What happened to the soft keys? Nobody asked that question? On top of that why do we have to have a long Menu soft key since the others are all hard keys? Keyboard on Nexus is too good, HTC is not even close. Nope nope nope nope!!!!

  • SH

    The man that designed sense 4.0. AKA the man that ruined Ice cream sandwich

  • BTLS

    Do NOT look at me like that while you’re tossing one off, Drew!

  • Wait there’s actually a chip that allows Sense 4.0?……Are you cereal?

  • JosephCabrera

    Sell sense as an add on. Buy the device as a vanilla, if you want sense then you can download a sense ROM. Makes sense to me.

    • I still think that android needs to have a custom skin applying option so that way we can just buy them from the market.

      Ex. I go into my settings menu and once section is skins in it is stock, skin from phone manufacture, and then an option to download more from the market. Each can add extra features (Give them as much control as they can get now) and on top of this then phones could be updated faster because all phones would be stock

      That is something I would like to see even though the amount of control they would have to have to do what they already do would be a lot of work.

      • michael arazan

        That is a million dollar idea IMO

        • Yeah I was hoping it would hit in ICS, with having the awesome new theme, but it never happened.

    • Josh Groff

      Even better, make it free to apply on an HTC phone but any other phone you would have a 1 time charge. I think that’s a great idea.

    • ArmanUV

      They’ll never do that. They might do the opposite though. It makes a lot more sense since they want the majority to use Sense.

  • Does he mention the stupid ‘magic chip’ that prevents older phones from getting Sense 4.0?

    • T4rd

      Magic chip = lazy developers.

      • KevinC

        the developers aren’t lazy, HTC penny pinchers won’t spend the money to update the software in older phones.

        don’t think the developers have any say at all in what gets updated.

        • T4rd

          I was about to add that too, but then I thought “they still got paid to update the phones to Sense 3.6”. 3.6 has some changes in its own right, so why not go ahead and add in all of 4.0’s features?

          • KevinC

            because in professional software development, the developers don’t have a say in what features get put into the product. that type of stuff is decided by product/program managers

          • T4rd

            I’d bet that the product/program managers decided that because the developers said it wouldn’t be worth the time to port 4.0 to older phones. It depends on the organization, but I’m sure the developers had at least some opportunity to give feedback regarding the update and what it entails.

            So ultimately, it’s probably a little bit of both.