Applications

What is Google Material Design and why everyone’s talking about it?

The design of an operating system is half the success of new gadgets. Many users may not pay attention to the new features of the devices, but the look is sure to be appreciated by everyone. Lately, literally, every news source has been talking about new apps from Google that have received updated Material Design. I’m sure you’ve come across articles like this as well. But what it is and what the features of this concept are, most users don’t have a clue. Yes, it looks kind of pretty. I suggest that we get to the bottom of Google’s new design once and for all.

Material Design is the look and feel of Google’s Android operating system software and apps.

It was first introduced to the public at the Google I/O conference in 2014. The idea is for apps that open and minimise like cards, using shadow effects. That is, Google is going to get rid of sharp corners altogether.

It was first presented to the public at the Google I/O conference in 2014. The idea is for apps that open and collapse like cards, using shadow effects. In other words, Google is going to get rid of sharp corners altogether.

The iOS operating system on the iPhone has a similar interface. I think many have noticed the rounded edges of apps on the Apple device. According to the idea of Google designers, applications should have all edges rounded, and they should open like cards, switching between them smoothly and almost imperceptibly to the eye.

Google’s Material Design was originally codenamed “quantum paper. It was a metaphor of sorts, referring to the three-dimensional paper.

Why Google is going for Material Design

I think it’s clear to everyone in today’s world that it’s not enough to make something beautiful; you also need functionality. And so, of course, every design has its own characteristics. When developing it Google pursued two main goals. The first is that all products based on the Android operating system have to be unified. The second is that the vast number of applications on Google Play should not be seen by users as standalone units, but as extensions of a single system.

Sounds extremely appealing. Except that the design concept was introduced in 2014, and now it’s 2021. And so far, many apps on Google Play don’t even think about making adjustments according to whatever innovations are out there. Even though the company has recently promised a global clean-up of the shop, I highly doubt that it will be about adapting apps to the new concept.

On the other hand, one can look at how the Android operating system has changed over the years, after which it becomes clear that the company, albeit slowly, is still moving in that direction.

It's time to get rid of square software.
It’s time to get rid of square software.

A separate important point in the new concept is the animations on Google’s devices. When we use a gadget, we literally do not pay attention to it, but people who are even slightly familiar with design, surely know that it is an extremely important part of any interface.

Animations on Android are meant to help devices become easier and more intuitive to use. When minimizing an application, for example, the animation will show where its icon is located on the main screen so that next time you will know where the application is located.

Colour is another important detail in the new design. The company works on this every year and keeps the colour scheme as simple as possible, playing with shadows only. Rich, even colours. Sharp, outlined edges. Big typography and big indents between the elements. This is the visual component of Material.

High-quality animation is the key to the success of a good design.
High-quality animation is the key to the success of a good design.

What is Material You?

Now Google has taken the design of Material You to the next level. It looks very colourful and focuses on the idea of integrating design from Google into all apps. The look and feel have to touch absolutely all the apps, from the web version to the interface of the system itself.

The main idea of the new concept is the idea of a system style, which adjusts itself individually for each user. That is, if you set your own wallpaper on the desktop, then absolutely everything on the smartphone will adapt to that image and rearrange the colour palette just for you.

It’s a shame that only bare Android owners will truly appreciate the design, as there’s a good chance that the big brands will hide all the beauty under their own shells.

We were expecting a new design this autumn, along with the unveiling of Android 12 and the Google Pixel 6, but something has gone wrong at Google.

The new Google Translator

While Google’s system looks are progressing more or less, things aren’t going so well with the apps. More recently, our foreign colleagues at 9to5Google talked about the new Google Translate design, which is supposed to debut in the new Android 12 operating system.

This is what Google Translate looks like now.
This is what Google Translate looks like now.

I confess that I gave up on Google Translator a long time ago. Despite all its popularity and simplicity, when you start working with it, “pain” becomes synonymous with its name.

Even though it seems to be very simple and straightforward. Here you enter the source text, here the translation and voice control are displayed. But in the end, it looks very bad. A simple person like me finds it very difficult to notice the details which make the interface look cluttered, but that’s why there is a special profession of a designer. He knows exactly (or not exactly) how to make software simple and its use understandable even for a child.

This is what Google Translate will look like.
This is what Google Translate will look like.

This, too, is a separate topic. The application becomes understandable to a child, not because children are rapidly growing in intelligence, but because the development team, along with the designers, worked that point to the very limit.

Well, let’s wish to Google further success in achieving simplicity and minimalism in Android, and let’s hope that soon the entire Google Play shop will switch to the new format. And life will get a lot easier.

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