What is material design? Material Design was created to be a design language that Android designers could use to build responsive, usable, and scalable apps. The comprehensive design system was code-named “Quantum Paper” and released by Google as a way to not only improve app design but also to redesign its own apps.
In other words, Google’s Material Design language is a set of guidelines for visual design, intended to create a consistent user experience across all of Google’s products. Material Design places heavy emphasis on shadows, typography, and colors.
Because Material Design was created to be used by multiple brands and projects, it is much more comprehensive than most design systems.
History of material design
In 2014 the release of Material Design was a huge hit not just among Android developers, but designers for iOS apps and also for websites too. The community was blown away by how it changed the landscape of design as a whole.
Initially, the material design was intended for Android app development. The goal was to create a design system across all devices. That would be consistent and easy to use. Eventually, Google used Material Design to rebuild all of its apps to make them more user-friendly and intuitive. The code name for Google Material was “Quantum Paper.” This is likely because the design was created to imitate real-life materials, with a flat appearance but with shadows and texture.
Why use the material design?
Despite all this comprehensiveness and documentation, Material Design remains a fairly flexible system. This allows for a lot of creativity and flexibility in how the system is used.
The Material Design guidelines offer many advantages that set it apart from other design styles, like flat design. The simplified sense of physics in Material Design also makes interactions more intuitive. These advantages include subtle skeuomorphism, which makes the design more intuitive for users, and haptic feedback, which gives users a sense of how their interactions will work.
Why Material Design is good?
There are some major pros to using Material Design that designers should consider, such as
- It is an effective and comprehensive design ecosystem.
- A set of rules for how to handle any potential design situation.
- A great deal of comfort and structure for designers.
- Most well-documented design systems.
- It provides extensive guidance on how to use and implement.
- Built with mobile devices in mind, which makes sense considering its original purpose was for designing Android apps.
- It also promotes animation in designs, both for user feedback and to hint at how different features function.
- The addition of dark theme options has added even more visual flexibility for designers.
- Material Design was very light and bright, which didn’t work well with the aesthetics of some brands.
- The addition of a dark theme guideline fixes that issue.
Why Material Design is bad?
A potential downside to using Material Design is that:
- It could limit the effectiveness of other branding due to the association with Google.
- Although designers can incorporate logos, color palettes, and other factors to support the brand identity,
- A product that follows the Material Design specifications will likely be associated with Google.
- Since motion and animation are promoted in the Material Design guidelines, sites or apps that don’t use them may seem incomplete to users.
- Extensive animations can be very resource-intensive on mobile devices, resulting in higher data usage and faster battery depletion.
Movements, in particular, are great ways to help users know about their required actions. Also, they can be helpful when it comes to providing feedback to users. For example, in an Android Device, when you tap and hold down an icon, a popup appears and shows you the available actions that can be performed.
Making everything communicative with the user is all Material design stands for.
A Designer’s thought
In the past, mimicking the real world with the design was making objects that looked similar to real life objects. But as soon as they realized it takes a lot of computing power and time to make those happen, they quickly moved to build a clean UI. The cleaner the design is, the faster it renders. This also helps a designer to get help from the Material Design guidelines.
Take Youtube for an example. Doesn’t it look cleaner today than it looked five years ago? This way, it looks much faster, and the UI is perfect for us.
However, if the UI is the main weapon for UX, material design guidelines are very important to make it cleaner and real-world alike. This mostly deals with the screen size problem for Android devices. Also, it partially solves the problems of fragmentation in third-party software. Material Design is the ultimate solution to different screen sizes. As Google says, the importance of Material Design pays off in building a unified experience across platforms and device sizes.
In this post, we have covered some of the reasons why Material Design is a solid option for your next website or web application. From the wide range of design elements to the guidelines and tools available, Material Design offers a comprehensive and easy-to-use solution that is sure to meet your needs. So, why not give the Material Design methodology a try? Who knows, it might be just the right tool to help you design your next great project!