Brand Color themes changed

I am confused. I see the theme controls like in the image below. Was it not like this after the initial change?

From my point of view this is the same as the old dropdown list of Themes, we are just selecting the background and text/button colors separately.

What am I missing?

57%20PM

1 Like

That pallet is not working any more.
If you change the theme and then change the color, your frame color will be gone. to with or black

1 Like

Please elaborate. I have been able to change from light to dark background AND affect the Primary Color of text and buttons.

What do you mean by frame color?

In support!

1 Like

I wanted to respond to everyone in this thread who shared opinions on this change.

First, let me apologize for the way the change was rolled out. What we needed to do was (a) post something in the community showing what we planned to do, (b) listen to feedback, © incorporate the feedback in what we do. That would have better guided our changes and also helped explain them to all of you.

Learning from this, we are now following this approach and it is already leading to better outcomes. See Long view names

Now, back to the question of why we are doing any of these changes to the UI of the apps. One of the core principles in AppSheet is that you don’t need to be a developer to build a successful app. However, app adoption also depends on UI/UX design. If the design is not good enough, most end-users tend to avoid adoption. They are conditioned by the quality of consumer apps that we all use on our phones and devices everyday. These consumer apps set the UI/UX quality bar. Typically, every successful app in the app stores has one or more UX designers craft every element of the user experience.

Now most of us are not UI/UX design experts. I am not either. However Morgan and Carie on our team are. I have set them an ambitious goal: how do we ensure that all apps built on AppSheet have great UI/UX design without having a UX designer custom-design them. In aggregate, this is likely to maximize adoption for all of the apps all of our customers are building. This can only be achieved by some combination of constraints (some things you cannot do) and guidance (some things the platform advises you to do). AppSheet is five years old now. Some choices we made and UI features we allowed at the start may no longer be the best choices to carry forward. Anytime you constrain a system, you are going to aggravate some people who want flexibility over everything else. However, we have also seen that flexibility on occasion put to poor use resulting in poor outcomes (despite the best intentions of the app creator).

I share this background mostly by way of explanation. I feel if you understand what we are trying to achieve, you will be able to better guide us. We are on this journey together. Whenever I hear strong negative reactions to something we did, I know that those folks are really strong and passionate believers in our platform. They are frustrated or disappointed by something we’ve done, and we need to learn from that.

In this case, we believe that the theming/styling options that were removed are not aligned with UI/UX principles of modern apps. While this is a subjective judgment, there is some good evidence of this. But we need to do more to articulate these principles more clearly. Also, we need to add more elegant ways to establish branding/theming (along the lines of many of the asks in this thread). Sometimes as a practical matter in a large complex software system, we have to clean up old stuff before we can put in new stuff.

@PublicSafetySystems, I do hear you. Within our team, we have had long discussions about how we should have handled this better, and how to ensure that we treat all of you as valuable members of our extended team.

12 Likes

I love it

Thanks @praveen!

So. What you are saying is that all “modern” apps have only white or black headers???

I find that limitation hard to believe.

If you are going to make these kind of enforced UX/UI decisions than perhaps you should share some UX/UI best practices to support these decisions.

Instead of yanking UX/UI features out from under your core community. Why not provide some guidelines for good UX/UI design principles. At least then your core community can understand the rational behind your decisions.

2 Likes

In addition, when you make these kind of wholesale changes. Perhaps you should at least make an effort to update your help files so that everyone doesn’t think they are crazy when the help files say one things but the actual development environment says something totally different.

5 Likes

Given the reaction of the community of these unannounced branding theme changes. Perhaps you could share with us what the Product Management plan is for addressing these issues along with an anticipated timeline.

if our only choice is to create either a white or black app, then I seriously need to consider a different platform.

Your making the assumption that everyone using this platform has zero UX/UI experience. While there are certainly some ugly apps I’ve seen in the sample apps and portfolios. Not all of us are clueless when it comes to UX/UI.

But anyone serious about producing quality apps is probably also serious about their branding.

4 Likes

Bad move. With the new theme there is no visual separation between the header / footer menu bars and the data. This has the exact opposite of the intended effect as you can’t tell where the menus end and the data begins. It is visually confusing and just from a straight presentation standpoint it looks MUCH worse. I have had multiple people during demos immediately ask me what happened to the nice attractive layout. They are so distracted by the new weird look that I can’t even get them to talk to me about the data. Face it - the decision was bad. Don’t wait 5 years like Microsoft to undo a bad design decision. Fix it or at least give your saavy user base the option to overrule your heavy-handed “improvement” :frowning_face:

1 Like

I’m sorry to say it, but objectively speaking (I have polled many people) the change is not a good one. I am fine with giving new options, but there is a large contingent of developers on here that use and present these apps daily and vastly prefer the original UI. I think you need to put more trust in your user community and listen to what they are saying. I’m sure Morgan and Carie had good intentions, but having spent hundreds of hours developing an app and receiving rave reviews that literally overnight turned into “Hey, dude - what happened to your App? It looks all washed out”. Would it really be so difficult to provide an option to return color to the header and footer? This reminds me of Microsoft who spent a decade trying to convince people that the “Modern UI” of Windows 8+ was better with no Start Menu. Give the people what they want - don’t die on this idealistic hill!

1 Like

Jamie,

Firstly, there is no need to be passive-aggressively rude about it.

Secondly, the whole theming/color system needed to be completely re-worked to match modern design guides from Google. Ways to add more color will be coming back eventually when they are stable and ready. The old system was tacky/clunky. I’m sure they were hoping to be further along with their improvements on it by now. But these aren’t style changes made solely at the whim of a few people at AppSheet.

Thirdly, app design and website design are two separate concepts.

You can let them know you don’t like the change, as many have done, without all the extra.

You are right. It was extra. I was very frustrated and upset going into a demo and not having any good options to recover what I believe was taken from me in error. I also felt from reading other’s posts that their wishes (and now mine) were being discounted and that maybe I would get some traction with AppSheet where they clearly had not. But it was the wrong approach and I will adjust my post. Thank you.

3 Likes

Just to share my temporary solution to this issue.

  1. I have created a template based on a sample previous apps to keep my apps - brand color.
  2. Add the background image to keep my apps - brand image.
  3. Adding a repeated steps such as adding users table. The user table will be connected to the cloud SQL to enable other persons in my domain take the benefit to reduce the repeated steps.
  4. Make necessary setting to keep it consistent and can be used as a template to start apps creations.

  1. While waiting for AppSheet completing the update on UX/UI, don’t touch on the theme and primary color settings.

I am not sure if the above is a normal way to do or is a bug, but I get what I want for time being.

Ps, I am new to Appsheet, sorry if the above is not applicable to your case.

2 Likes

A visionary, and a problem solver, thanks for posting!

1 Like

Would be nice to have the Theme selection (Light/Dark/None).
Miss the nice cool color of blue, was calming for me, the light theme is a bit nuisance.

1 Like

How ridiculous that on a platform designed to help people make custom apps you’d take away a critical feature for people to be able to skin the apps the way they’d like. You have a great product allowing people to build apps and customise them yet you then want to control the way ‘their’ apps end up looking! Why on earth???

1 Like

Please read the post #24 by praveen in Dec 2019.

I personally feel the new interface is SO MUCH better than the old clunky one. Its much more intuitive and flexible. Coming from a development background myself, I can see that AppSheet is setting up its theme capabilities for great things to come.

Be patient as this interface get built! Submit Feature Requests to vote for the features you really want…at least in addition to the complaints!

2 Likes