Sunday, May 8, 2016

Principles Of The Material

Hi! today we will talk about Material Design.

It was presented at Google I/O conference in 2014 just as a concept and became popular very fast. Many app developers started to redesign their apps even without any help from SDK. And to be honest, they didn't even understand what Material Design is, primarily because even Google didn't really understand what it is. But at the moment, it's clear and understandable.

With time Material Design got support from SDK and now we can build colorful, responsive, natural layouts with the very little effort.

Material Design was invented with the endeavor to bring more of a real world to the digital space but keep it minimalistic. To achieve this goal three principles were stated.

Digital paper

Digital paper is the metaphor to reach the understanding of what is happening on the screen. 

Computers and digital devices were designed to reduce all the paperwork in our life but paper is still a convenient way of storing and transferring information (I still use sticky notes). It's easy to focus on what is shown on a paper piece and using this we can easily control user attention (the main goal of all design concepts). 

Considering this Google studied paper and ink and come up with this brainchild. 

Digital paper has great advantages it can be resized, reshaped, repainted etc. to attract users attention and keep things clear. In everything else digital paper behaves just like a real paper. It casts a shadow to provide depth on your screen and can be split into pieces if necessary. 


When you use the paper you will probably want to use printing design. 

Printing design develops since 1440 when Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press so there was no need for Google to invent something new. They just took the best from modern magazines.

If you look at proper material design app you'll see that it's very similar to a magazine despite the purpose of this app.

Colors, Images, and Typography should be in balance to control users attention and reach the better understanding of your content.

Animation provides meaning

In the real world, nothing comes out of nowhere and nothing disappears in a blink of an eye (there are exceptions quantum physics). Every motion has its own meaning. If this were not so it would be impossible to live in such a world. 

Imagine that you're walking on the beach and a ball appears in front of your face, you even don't have a chance to dodge it and it hits you hard. Do you want to live like that? I think the answer is no, so let's don't make your users to do so.

I can't say better than the Material Design Guideline

Just as the shape of an object indicates how it might behave, watching an object move demonstrates whether it’s light, heavy, flexible, rigid, small or large. In the world of material design, motion describes spatial relationships, functionality, and intention with beauty and fluidity.

Also, there is a forth implicit principle.

Adaptive Design

In the world of the digital clouds, many apps are multiplatform. But for a user, it can be really painful to adapt every time he changes the platform. Google Inbox is a good example of a consistent app. You can read your mail from any device and don't feel any discomfort passing from one to another.

The beauty of Material Desing is that its guidelines can be applied to any form factor and for any purpose. 

Whether it be a TV, watches, car display, mobile phone, desktop etc. you can go by these three principles to build a nice looking app on any device.


Don't think about Material Design as about strict set of rules. It just summarizes the experience of many years interacting with users and readers.

It provides us with the platform from which we can start thinking about our own design rules and principles to make it even better. Its guidelines are regularly updating with new rules and tips and who knows maybe you will be next trendsetter of Material Design.  

All these principles and how to use them carefully described in Google Material Design Guidelines with examples ho to do and how not to.

Armed with that you can build well-designed apps that will keep users focus on what really matters.

Okay, that's all for today.

See you next week, peace!


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