User interface

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This document goes over how to follow Glass style and implement common UI best practices that can optimize your user's experience. It covers the following UI elements:

Theme

The Glass theme we suggest you use has the following characteristics:

  • Displays activities full-screen with no action bar.
  • Applies a solid-black background.
  • Sets the color lighter for the color edge effect.
  • Applies a white text color.

The following are the recommended theme settings for Glass:

 <style name="AppTheme" parent="Theme.AppCompat.NoActionBar">
   <item name="android:windowBackground">@android:color/black</item>
   <item name="android:colorEdgeEffect">@android:color/white</item>
   <item name="android:textColor">@android:color/white</item>
 </style>

XML layouts

Here are the two basic card layouts that your fragments can inflate:

Main layout

This layout defines the suggested standard padding and footer for a card. Put your own views in the empty FrameLayout.

The center box takes up most of the interior of the screen at 560 by 240 pixels, with
          a small bar at the bottom that's 560 by 40 pixels.
          There are also four small 40 by 40 pixel blocks, one on each corner

Here is an example XML layout:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<androidx.constraintlayout.widget.ConstraintLayout
    xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto"
    android:id="@+id/layout"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent">

  <FrameLayout
      android:id="@+id/body_layout"
      android:layout_width="0dp"
      android:layout_height="0dp"
      android:layout_margin="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      app:layout_constraintBottom_toTopOf="@id/footer"
      app:layout_constraintEnd_toEndOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintStart_toStartOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintTop_toTopOf="parent">

    <!-- Put your widgets inside this FrameLayout. -->

  </FrameLayout>

  <!-- The footer view will grow to fit as much content as possible while the
         timestamp view keeps its width. If the footer text is too long, it
         will be ellipsized with a 40dp margin between it and the timestamp. -->

  <TextView
      android:id="@+id/footer"
      android:layout_width="0dp"
      android:layout_height="wrap_content"
      android:layout_marginStart="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:layout_marginEnd="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:layout_marginBottom="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:ellipsize="end"
      android:singleLine="true"
      android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceSmall"
      app:layout_constraintBottom_toBottomOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintEnd_toStartOf="@id/timestamp"
      app:layout_constraintStart_toStartOf="parent" />

  <TextView
      android:id="@+id/timestamp"
      android:layout_width="0dp"
      android:layout_height="wrap_content"
      android:layout_marginEnd="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:layout_marginBottom="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:ellipsize="end"
      android:singleLine="true"
      android:textAlignment="viewEnd"
      android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceSmall"
      app:layout_constraintBottom_toBottomOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintEnd_toEndOf="parent" />

</androidx.constraintlayout.widget.ConstraintLayout>

Left column layout

This layout defines a one-third width left column and two-thirds width right column in the form of two FrameLayout classes that you can put your views into. Reference the following picture to see an example.

Shows a left column at 240 by 360 pixels, which pushes the main layout over.
          Its size squeezes to fit, the main area is 330 by 240 pixels, with a small lower bar
          that's 330 by 40 pixels. The right two corners have two small 40 by 40 pixel boxes and
          there are four other 30 by 40 pixel boxes, two on the lower corners of the left column
          and two on the left side of the main layout, one on top and one on the bottom.

Here is an example XML layout:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<androidx.constraintlayout.widget.ConstraintLayout
    xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    xmlns:app="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res-auto"
    android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent">

  <FrameLayout
      android:id="@+id/left_column"
      android:layout_width="0dp"
      android:layout_height="match_parent"
      android:background="#303030"
      app:layout_constraintBottom_toBottomOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintStart_toStartOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintTop_toTopOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintWidth_percent=".333">

    <!-- Put widgets for the left column inside this FrameLayout. -->

  </FrameLayout>

  <FrameLayout
      android:id="@+id/right_column"
      android:layout_width="0dp"
      android:layout_height="0dp"
      android:layout_marginTop="@dimen/glass_card_two_column_margin"
      android:layout_marginStart="@dimen/glass_card_two_column_margin"
      android:layout_marginBottom="@dimen/glass_card_two_column_margin"
      android:layout_marginEnd="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      app:layout_constraintBottom_toTopOf="@id/footer"
      app:layout_constraintEnd_toEndOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintStart_toEndOf="@id/left_column"
      app:layout_constraintTop_toTopOf="parent">

    <!-- Put widgets for the right column inside this FrameLayout. -->

  </FrameLayout>

  <!-- The footer view will grow to fit as much content as possible while the
         timestamp view keeps its width. If the footer text is too long, it
         will be ellipsized with a 40dp margin between it and the timestamp. -->

  <TextView
      android:id="@+id/footer"
      android:layout_width="0dp"
      android:layout_height="wrap_content"
      android:layout_marginStart="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:layout_marginEnd="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:layout_marginBottom="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:ellipsize="end"
      android:singleLine="true"
      android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceSmall"
      app:layout_constraintBottom_toBottomOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintEnd_toStartOf="@id/timestamp"
      app:layout_constraintStart_toEndOf="@id/left_column" />

  <TextView
      android:id="@+id/timestamp"
      android:layout_width="0dp"
      android:layout_height="wrap_content"
      android:layout_marginEnd="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:layout_marginBottom="@dimen/glass_card_margin"
      android:ellipsize="end"
      android:singleLine="true"
      android:textAlignment="viewEnd"
      android:textAppearance="?android:attr/textAppearanceSmall"
      app:layout_constraintBottom_toBottomOf="parent"
      app:layout_constraintEnd_toEndOf="parent" />

</androidx.constraintlayout.widget.ConstraintLayout>

Standard dimensions

Use the following in conjunction with the previous layouts or your own layouts to create a file that adheres to Glass' standard style. Create this file as res/values/dimens.xml in your Android project.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<resources>

  <!-- The recommended margin for the top, left, and right edges of a card. -->
  <dimen name="glass_card_margin">40dp</dimen>

  <!-- The recommended margin between the bottom of the card and the footer. -->
  <dimen name="glass_card_footer_margin">50dp</dimen>

  <!-- The recommended margin for the left column of the two-column card. -->
  <dimen name="glass_card_two_column_margin">30dp</dimen>

</resources>

We suggest you use RecyclerView to build menus. They should be based on the standard Android menu file from Android Studio project resources. Android allows you to override the standard menu creation and replace it with your implementation. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Create the layout with RecyclerView and set it as the view for your Activity.
  2. Set RecyclerView and its adapter to use the newly created collection of menu items.
  3. Override the onCreateOptionsMenu method.
    1. Inflate your menu and add your new element to the collection for each menu item.
    2. Call the notifyDataSetChanged method on the adapter.

    Kotlin

        override fun onCreateOptionsMenu(menu: Menu): Boolean {
            val menuResource = intent
                .getIntExtra(EXTRA_MENU_KEY, EXTRA_MENU_ITEM_DEFAULT_VALUE)
            if (menuResource != EXTRA_MENU_ITEM_DEFAULT_VALUE) {
                menuInflater.inflate(menuResource, menu)
                for (i in 0 until menu.size()) {
                    val menuItem = menu.getItem(i)
                    menuItems.add(
                        GlassMenuItem(
                            menuItem.itemId, menuItem.icon,
                            menuItem.title.toString()
                        )
                    )
                    adapter.notifyDataSetChanged()
                }
            }
            return super.onCreateOptionsMenu(menu)
        }
        

    Java

        @Override
        public boolean onCreateOptionsMenu(Menu menu) {
          final int menuResource = getIntent()
              .getIntExtra(EXTRA_MENU_KEY, EXTRA_MENU_ITEM_DEFAULT_VALUE);
          if (menuResource != EXTRA_MENU_ITEM_DEFAULT_VALUE) {
            final MenuInflater inflater = getMenuInflater();
            inflater.inflate(menuResource, menu);
    
            for (int i = 0; i < menu.size(); i++) {
              final MenuItem menuItem = menu.getItem(i);
              menuItems.add(
                  new GlassMenuItem(menuItem.getItemId(), menuItem.getIcon(),
                      menuItem.getTitle().toString()));
              adapter.notifyDataSetChanged();
            }
          }
          return super.onCreateOptionsMenu(menu);
        }
        
  4. Use OnScrollListener together with LayoutManager and SnapHelper to determine which option has been selected.
  5. Listen for a TAP gesture to handle the menu item selection event.
  6. Create an Intent with information about the selected menu item.
  7. Set a result for this activity and finish it.
  8. Call startActivityForResult from the fragment or activity where you want to have a menu. Use a TAP gesture for this purpose.
  9. Override the onActivityResult in the calling fragment or activity to handle the selected menu item.

Guidelines

The following is a list of suggestions for how to set up your menu layout:

The following image is an example of a customized menu layout:

This simple image shows a black background with the words 'MENU layout' centered on the
       screen and a phone symbol adjacent.

Review the Card sample app for implementation details.

Swipeable pages

The Glass display and touchpad work together to display swipeable cards in a convenient way. You can build swipeable pages in your activity with the standard Android ViewPager API.

Visit the Screen slide training documentation for more information on how to use Android ViewPager to scroll through cards or screens.