I've been having a hard time finding any reputable research or studies discussing whether established design guidelines (i.e. Material Design, iOS guidelines) are easier for people to use than custom app design or not.

I know the theoretical reasons why design guidelines are so strongly encouraged (people know what to expect from apps, consistency, better performance, etc.) but I want to know if there are any studies that explicitly user test this somehow.

Similarly, I know that Google has done a lot of research and testing in the development of Material, but I can't find anything on what that research and testing actually entailed. Is there any article or paper somewhere that describes their research?

  • I think this question is beyond broad. i mean... which custom UI? An excellent custom UI will be excellent. A bad custom UI will be bad. The existence of guidelines is purely anecdotal to these scenarios since they are custom. Anyways, all in all, guidelines are just guidelines and aim to a "one size fits all" approach. Obviously, a well done custom made UI with specific research for that UI will be way better than any generic solution – Devin Jul 12 '17 at 15:38
  • @Devin Good point. Specifically, I'm working on a project whose clients want us to basically come up with a fully custom UI, and occasionally sprinkle a Material look and feel to it (but not consistently). I'm trying to convince them to stick to the guidelines by showing them the data/research that went into creating them and evaluating their effectiveness. – Lisa Jul 12 '17 at 16:26
  • How did the project go? What happened? – 習約塔 Jun 10 at 6:26

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