Google bridged the gap between the Web and Android worlds by using a new unified user interface, Material Design. Google Material Design made its debut with Android 5.0 Lollipop and we can see now that almost all Google apps and services are taking advantage of the new design directives.
Year 2014 was when Google’s Material Design was a source of inspiration and topic of discussion for designers. Material design spec is a philosophy which incorporates within how digital elements must behave on and off screen. It is more than just another visual design language for Google’s products. It is among a credible and viable alternative to the design practices found in Apple’s iOS as well.
Let’s first find out what is this material design and some its properties:
A – Material Properties
Material holds some immutable characteristics and inherent behaviors. Below mentioned are certain attributes of a Material which will help you to manipulate the material in your own way which is consistent with the Google material design. Let’s see how we are going to do this:
A1 – Physical Properties:
- Material holds varied dimensions x & y which are measured in dp and they have a uniform thickness (1dp).
- The height and width of material can vary.
- Shadows exhibit the relative elevation between material elements.
- Content can be displayed on material in any shape and color and this content does not add thickness to material. Material is solid and content behavior can be independent of the behavior of material.
- Input events cannot pass through material. And they only affect the foreground material.
- Multiple material elements can’t occupy the same point of space at the same time.
A2 – Transforming Material
- Material can easily change the shape and can grow and shrink only along its plane.
- Material never bends or folds.
- You can transform material by joining the sheets of material together to become a single sheet of material. When you spilt, material can be healed. And if you remove a portion of material from this sheet, the sheet will again become a whole sheet.
A3 – Movement of Material
- It can be readily generated and destroyed.
- Material can be move along various axis.
- Z- axis motion which is typically prompted by user interaction.
B- Features and Benefits
- Material Design is considered as a design vision for the future.
- It incorporates within flat elements, bold colors and informative animations which creates a fresh user interface.
- Plenty of third-party Android app developers have been taking advantage of material design spec.
- Material Designed Android Apps look refreshed and overhauled. Thanks to the fun animations and delightful transitions.
- Material Design offers a comprehensive UX + Style framework which speeds up both design and development process.
- Material design spec promotes consistency and responsiveness as an experience across all platforms.
- Google material design offers contemporary look and feel along with the variable components and colors for you to choose.
- This design has elements which dynamically shrink and expand.
- Designers can add more white space between elements, it also offers lots of animation and hence provides a more 3D look which is emphasized by shadows and lighting effects.
- Material Design spec emphasize most importantly the content of a screen.
- Material Design is one consistent vision for mobile, desktop and beyond which is very clear and simple and people will intuitively understand.
- Google Material Design opens up a 3D interface even on 2D screens, therefore allowing programmers not only to specify what color a pixel should be, but how high it should be in a virtual stack.
- The additional Z dimension of Material Design opens lot of opportunities to design apps which are easier to interact and understand.
Conclusively, Material Designs are some fundamental aspects and a great source of inspiration, when it comes to visually polishing and the finer details. It not only generalizes the idea with an intent of standardization, but without really handicapping the creativity but instead adding to it.