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We develop Android application. We base on old version of similar application developed in our company. This old application was designed by some noobs which didn't follow UI Android design rules.

Now our product owner says: do stuff the same way as old application.

(Small example: user can add items to a list; in Android you have + button on Action Bar for that; but we have "Add item" as last item on list.)

My eyes hurts when I look on that design and furthermore implementing it needs quite a lot of effort to bow good tools to generate bad design.

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Users do not like change. Even when the change is objectively superior from an UX perspective, the human resistance to change habits will result in them finding it subjectively worse.

So when you already have a userbase you are developing the new application for, it is not a bad idea at all to follow the UI conventions they are used to instead of following UI convention which are more common in general but less common to your target audience.

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