Building an Android System Design Architecture for Efficient Image Uploads with Clean Architecture

Yakubu Muraino
6 min readFeb 19, 2023

In the ever-evolving world of mobile app development, creating a well-architected Android system design is essential for success. This article aims to guide you through the process of building a robust Android system design architecture for efficient image uploads using the principles of Clean Architecture. We’ll discuss why a well-architected system is vital and what can go wrong if your project lacks such architecture. We’ll also provide real-life examples of poorly-architected projects and their consequences.

Why Android System Design Architecture Matters

A well-structured Android system design architecture is essential for several reasons:

  1. Maintainability: An organized architecture makes it easier to manage, update, and extend your app’s functionality without causing chaos in the codebase.
  2. Scalability: A well-architected system can adapt to changing requirements and handle increased data loads, ensuring your app can grow without sacrificing performance.
  3. Code Quality: Clean architecture principles lead to cleaner, more readable code, reducing bugs and making it easier for developers to collaborate.
  4. Testability: Separating components in a systematic way allows for comprehensive testing of individual parts of your app, leading to a more stable and reliable product.

Let’s delve into a real-life scenario to understand the consequences of a poorly-architected Android project.

The Dangers of Poor Architecture

Consider a food delivery app that started as a simple concept but quickly gained popularity. Initially, the development team overlooked the importance of a well-architected system design. As the user base and image upload demands grew, the app’s performance began to deteriorate.

  1. Sluggish Performance: Without a proper architecture, the app became increasingly slow and unresponsive, frustrating users and causing a drop in customer retention.
  2. Frequent Crashes: The lack of separation between components made it challenging to identify and fix issues, resulting in frequent app crashes.
  3. Maintenance Nightmare: Adding new features or addressing user requests became a nightmare for the development team. The codebase was cluttered, and any changes often introduced new bugs.

Now that we’ve highlighted the importance of Android system design, let’s break down the essential components of a well-architected image upload system.

In this article, we will discuss the following layers of a well-designed Android system architecture:

  1. View Layer
  2. Presentation Layer
  3. Domain Layer
  4. Data Layer
  5. Data Source Layer

Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started

View Layer

  1. UploadImageScreen
  • Allows users to select images for upload.
  • Provides image preview and metadata input.
  • Initiates the image upload process.

2. ImageViewScreen

  • Displays uploaded images.
  • Supports image viewing and interaction

3. UploadQueueScreen

  • Lists images in the upload queue.
  • Shows upload progress and status.
  • Allows users to manage the queue.

4. ImageDetailsScreen

  • Provides additional details about a selected image.
  • Allows users to view metadata and comments.
  • Offers options for sharing and saving images.

Presentation Layer

  1. UploadViewModel
  • Manages the logic and data related to the image upload process on the UploadImageScreen.
  • Observes user interactions and initiates the upload process.
  • Handles progress updates and success/failure notifications for image uploads.

2. ImageListViewModel

  • Manages the logic and data required for the ImageViewScreen.
  • Retrieves and displays the list of uploaded images.
  • Handles user interactions, such as filtering, sorting, and viewing individual images.


  1. ImageMapper:
  • Converts data between the presentation and domain layers.
  • Transforms data from the format suitable for the UI (PresentationDataModel) to the format used in the business logic (DomainDataModel) and vice versa.
  • Ensures that data is properly adapted for display and processing.


  1. UploadPresentationDataModel
  • Represents the data model specific to the UploadImageScreen.
  • Contains data required for image selection, captions, and progress status.
  • May include UI-specific attributes like placeholders for image previews.

2. ImageListPresentationDataModel:

  • Represents the data model specific to the ImageViewScreen.
  • Holds information about the list of uploaded images, their metadata, and user interactions.
  • Provides a structured format for displaying images and their details.

These components work together to create a clear separation between the presentation layer and the underlying business logic. The ViewModel is responsible for handling user interactions and managing the data flow between the views and the domain layer, ensuring that the UI remains responsive and up-to-date. The Mapper ensures that data is properly transformed to meet the specific requirements of the PresentationDataModel and the DomainDataModel, facilitating efficient communication between layers. This separation of concerns not only enhances the maintainability of your application but also allows for easier unit testing of each layer independently.

Domain Layer

Use Cases

  1. UploadImageUseCase
  • Handles the business logic for uploading images.
  • Receives input from the Presentation Layer, such as the selected image, captions, and tags.
  • Validates and processes the image for upload, communicates with the Data Layer, and returns the result of the upload operation.
  • Manages error handling and reports success or failure back to the Presentation Layer.

2. RetrieveImagesUseCase

  • Manages the logic for retrieving and displaying images on the ImageViewScreen.
  • Interacts with the Data Layer to fetch the list of uploaded images.
  • Can handle filtering and sorting requests from the Presentation Layer.
  • Provides a list of images to display, along with their associated metadata.

Interface Repository

  • The Interface Repository is an abstraction that defines the contract for accessing data within the Domain Layer. It typically includes methods like uploadImage, getImages, and any other data-related operations required by your application.

The Use Cases in the Domain Layer are responsible for orchestrating the core functionality of your application. They receive input from the Presentation Layer, implement the required business logic, and interact with the Data Layer through the Repository Interface.

Data Layer

Data Layer — Repository Implementations:

  1. ImageRepository:
  • Acts as the intermediary between the Domain Layer and the Data Source Layer.
  • Implements the Repository Interface from the Domain Layer.
  • Provides methods for image upload and retrieval.

Data Source Layer


  • Defines endpoints and methods for uploading images to a remote server.
  • Handles communication with the server, including sending image data and receiving upload responses.
  • Provides error handling, authentication, and retry mechanisms for failed uploads.


  • Manages the source of image data, including remote servers and local storage.
  • Provides methods for fetching images and metadata.
  • Includes caching logic for continuous upload and ensures data consistency.
  • Utilizes a Mapper for data conversion between layers.


  • Converts data between the Data Source Layer and Data Layer.
  • Transforms data from the format suitable for the Data Layer to the format used in the Data Source Layer and vice versa.

Local Cache

  • Manages local storage and caching of images to facilitate faster retrieval and offline access.
  • Includes a queue for managing the upload of images when one is already in progress.
  • Utilizes the same ImageMapper for data conversion.

In the fast-paced world of mobile app development, creating an Android image upload system that’s efficient, reliable, and user-friendly is no small feat. The architecture we’ve explored in this journey combines the power of Clean Architecture with a well-thought-out system design to help you achieve success in your project.

Why does this matter? Because a well-architected system is the foundation upon which great applications are built. It’s the difference between an app that delights users and one that leaves them frustrated.

With the right system design architecture, you can create a mobile app that’s not only efficient but also adaptable to changing requirements. Clean Architecture principles lead to cleaner, more readable code, reducing bugs and making it easier for developers to collaborate.

We’ve explored the key components of a well-architected Android image upload system:

- View Layer: Screens for image uploads, image viewing, and user interactions.
- Presentation Layer: ViewModels, Mappers, and PresentationDataModels for managing UI logic and data conversion.
- Domain Layer: Use Cases, Repository Interfaces, and Domain Data Models for your app’s core business logic.
- Data Layer: Repository Implementations, and data classes for image management.
- Data Source Layer: API endpoints for image uploads, DataSource for data retrieval, and a potential local cache for faster access and offline capabilities.

The Data Source Layer is where the magic happens. It’s responsible for continuous upload queuing, retrying failed uploads, and managing the intricacies of data storage and communication. It’s the heart of a resilient and efficient image upload system.

By following these principles and organizing your Android app in this way, you’re not just building an application; you’re crafting an experience that users will love. A well-architected system is the key to success, and it will enable your app to thrive in the ever-evolving world of mobile app development. So go ahead, embrace the power of a well-architected Android system, and watch your app shine 🙂🥂.

If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.



Yakubu Muraino

Senior Mobile Engineer | Android | IOS | Flutter | Kotlin Multiplatform