The phrase “material design” may conjure up images of an interior designer vacillating between types of drapery fabric. Actually, this metaphor isn’t too far removed from Google’s new design specifications. While there are still plenty of differences between the physical and digital worlds, Google is attempting to bridge this gap through a more understandable UI design process.
Material Design is a design language created for Google Android’s new OS, which was announced in summer 2014. While the concept focuses primarily on touch-based mobile app design, the same ideas should be able to be extrapolated into web design. The online documentation is quite detailed, but I found it to be confusing in some places. In this guide, I want to lay out the most essential information in order to explain the purpose of material design and how it will affect the interface design process.
In material design, surface and shadow work together to establish a physical structure showing what can be touched and what can move. Content is front and center, in accordance with the principles of modern print design, and motion is meaningful, clarifying relationships and teaching through delightful details.