If I Designed It - Android Browser

The start of (hopefully) a series of posts describing little user experience/design tweaks I'd make for different objects/applications/services. Starting with the Android browser and Google login

I've been meaning to start a new blog (yes, another one) to start gathering my thoughts about user experience, usability and design of things I use every day, mainly of a technical variety, but about anything from mobile applications and web services to toasters and TVs. Some might be big things, others small tweaks that would make my life just a little more pleasant.

In case there are any industrial/UX designers at Google or other huge company, let me just say, the ideas I'm publishing here are there for the taking under the same license as all my other posts, Creative Commons, except these will be licensed without the non-commercial restriction, so feel free to take the idea and build it into your products.

The real post

This first post is centred about my mobile, Google's Nexus One. To be more specific, it's about Android's bundled Browser when used with web services requiring a Google account to log in.

My suggestion is small, but I think it would improve the user experience. When I choose to log into a web service using my Google credentials, I'd like the browser to trigger an intent which would cause a dialog box asking me whether to use the credentials already stored in my device. The browser would then take back control and the web service would load the logged-in page, as if I'd returned from the Google login page.

Another bonus of this could be an 'always do this' checkbox on the dialog which would then automatically process the login without showing the Google login page and without even showing the dialog.

Further bonus points would be awarded if that 'always log me into this service with this account' type of option would store an indefinite session handle (securely) and use that to keep me logged into services, without the need to even click the 'login' button on the site ever again. The options for forgetting the logins (think like OAuth tokens) could be accessed through the normal Accounts settings.

Think the idea's good/bad? Think I've missed a trick? Express your thoughts in the comments

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About the author

Portrait of the author

On weekdays I'm a Technical Lead at Comparethemarket.com, having previously been a Solution Architect at Nokia & Nokia Siemens Networks, creating creative software solutions for mobile operators around the world.

In my spare time I'm an avid new technology fan, and constantly strive to find innovative uses for the new gadgets I manage to get my hands on. Most recently I've been investigating Mobile Codes, RFID and Home automation (mainly Z-Wave). With a keen eye for usability I'm attempting to create some cost-effective, DIY technology solutions which would rival even high-end retail products. The software I develop is usually released as Open Source.

I have a Finnish geek partner, so have begun the difficult task of learning Finnish.


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