Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Google 'Material Design'

Inbox by Gmail demonstrating
Google's new 'material design'
Google recently announced Android Lollipop; the most significant Android update since Ice-cream Sandwich in 2011. Although many new features have been added – some vastly more significant than others - the real talking point about Android Lollipop is what Google is calling ‘material design’.

‘Material design’ is a paper-like design language that will be implemented in most Google products over the next few months. It unifies mobile, tablet and desktop applications so they all have the same user interface with only slight modifications. The first major example of this is ‘Inbox’. Inbox is currently in beta and is a Gmail client made by Google. Once a user has been invited to use the app and website, their email is displayed in a format that has a resemblance to Google Now. It splits your email into relevant categories (e.g travel, promotions, and purchases) and it looks beautiful on any device.

Google does seem to have strict guidelines for designing apps with ‘material design’ specifying to developers how animations should look and how shadows should form however this is debatably necessary for apps to use ‘material design’ correctly.

‘Material design’ is native on Android Lollipop but is also included in Google’s iOS apps and on the web. It will be interesting to see how well ‘material design’ is received by consumers as it rolls out to Google products over the next few months.