By Seth Weintraub
May 27, 2010

When building the revolutionary Danger Sidekick earlier this decade, current Android leader Andy Rubin relied on Matias Duarte.  The duo are meeting up again in Mountain View.

Matias Duarte was Director of Design at Danger from 2000-2005 under then CEO Andy Rubin.  His work there is described on his LinkedIn profile as:

As Director of Design, at Danger Matias is responsible for making all aspects of the user experience a coherent and appealing whole. This includes industrial and ergonomic design of the hiptop hardware, as well as the visual, interaction and information design of the device and web software. Matias brings 8 years of experience designing user experiences and visual interfaces for consumer products.

Since leaving Andy Rubin at Danger, Duarte had a two year stint at Helio before becoming the principal design architect behind the webOS at Palm.  With the news that HP is picking up Palm, there were bound to be defections and it appears that Duarte is heading back to work with his old boss, Andy Rubin at Google.  AllThingsD first reported the defection and Google has acknowledged it.

This is a monster win for Android.  Duarte’s work both at Danger and at Palm is groundbreaking.  One of the bigger complaints with Android has been its User Interface lacked consistency and design appeal.

That looks to change in a big way.

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