Material Design

As an instructional designer, I love all things “DESIGN” and try to stay abreast of the latest design trends. Yet, I hadn’t noticed Material Design. It was developed in 2014 by Google, but somehow it’s only now that I chanced upon it.

For those of you still in the dark, Material Design is a “visual language that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation of technology and science.”

Ok, that definition comes straight from the website. Material Design is essentially an Android-oriented design language that optimises the UI. Now let me break it down further for you.

Just as there are well-established design principles for traditional mediums like paper, we now have a design system or language for digital material or screens. And this design language is called Material Design. It takes into account that material has physical surfaces, textures and edges.

So with Material Design, we try and mimic real-world objects for our digital material (screens) and look at things like shadows, 3D effects, lighting, movement and sounds, in addition to traditional design aspects like typography and colour.

Scroll through the Motion page of the Material Design website, to see how it is implemented. It’s brilliant! I love that seemingly simple cues can mean so much.

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