What Is Material Design?

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What Is Material Design?

What Is Material Design?

Throughout 2014, and now pervasively over the last several months, I’ve been noticing a strong trend, in website design and development, towards bold and simple. More and more websites, apps and presentations, with similar ‘feels’; and across a ever-widening spectrum of visual, presentational, and user interfaces. Web developers love web standards, they tell us what we can and should be doing. However there has never (that I am aware of) been a standard for design.

When I worked at Merrill-Lynch, we had a 26-page document of design standards. Standards for fonts, sizes and white space, acceptable colors, etc… I’ve never heard or seen any type of practical standard for ubiquitous design, until now!

The design team at Google felt the need to come up with a more coherent look and feel that could be applied across all of its products, from Android to Chrome OS to the web. Rather than starting with a palette of colors or a big set of guidelines, they started with a question.

What is software made of?

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What Is Material Design?

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What Is Material Design?

[divider] “It is a sufficiently advanced form of paper as to be indistinguishable from magic.”

Matias Duarte, vice president of design at Google, is telling me about the central principle of Material Design. It’s the unifying metaphor behind Google’s new design direction, providing a unified set of physics and rules for how software should look and act. It’s also a little weird.

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