What is Google Material Design?

Some time ago in this blog we reported about Google Material Design, an evolution of Apple Flat Design. But what is Material Design, really? And what are good design principles for an app to be Material-Design-ready?

What did Google designers do?

They created a visual language that summarizes the classical principles of good design. They wanted to offer a unified experience across several platforms. The graphics creates a hierarchy that guides the user in navigation, where shadows and movement take on a clear meaning: just look at this video example

The tactile surfaces (quantum paper)

Virtually every element of a graphical user interface becomes a real surface. Each element acquires realistic shadow because they are structured in a hierarchical manner, one above the other.

Colors

As in Apple Flat Design bright colors dominate the scene, combined through the use of soft spots.

Font

Google adopted the Roboto font to dominate in the new graphical environment. Readability is further enhanced by playing with contrast.

Images

The imperative is to maintain integrity of the original images.
Invasive filters should be avoided (desaturation is ok, though).

Icons

Icons should be modern, brightly colored, eccentric and minimal just like in Flat Design.

Animations

Designers at Google have focused on the fact that animations within a graphical interface have to be really sensible and most of all consistent with the user experience in that moment. An animation must be a consequence of a gesture, hence of an intention of the user. It is very important that the animation starts exactly where the user clicked or touched.

Material is becoming the new trend also in graphic design with its forms, its structure and its colors.
This is a sign that Google has managed to combine in a single design language, those that have been the trends over the last 5 or 6 years in the world of technology and design, taking the best from each of them and being able to create something innovative thanks to the ‘material’ metaphor.

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