Material Design is developed by Google which expands upon the “card” motifs that debuted in Google Now. Material Design makes effective use of grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, as well as depth effects such as lighting and shadows. This concept is a web design trend to watch out in the coming year.
Material design is a visual language that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with innovation and possibility of technology and science. The core objective of this design concept is to develop a system that offers a singular and unified experience across diverse platforms and several device sizes. Material Design is not just about creating order; rather it is about creating order with purpose and meaning.
Material Design will gradually be extended throughout Google’s range of web and mobile products, providing a consistent experience across all platforms and applications. Google has released APIs for third-party developers that allow to easily incorporate the design language into their applications.
Material design & Skeuomorphism: Infusing life into design
With Apple adopting flat design, skeuomorphism was out. Flat design was a rage across. However, the main problem with flat design was that it’s certainly not the most intuitive type of design, especially if you are dealing with novice users not familiar with web interfaces. Flat design comes across as a generic and difficult to navigate option, especially in complex situations. On the other hand material design, brings a bit of skeuomorphism in flat design which makes buttons easy to distinguish.
While flat design seems like a sensible option ensuring faster load times, material design solves the issues that flat design fails to solve in a complex design. Designers are attempting to combine the best of skeuomorphism with a cleaner aesthetic of flat design.
The advantages and disadvantages of material design are as follows:
- Introduces the Z-axis
- Clear set of guidelines that’s constantly being updated. You easily refer to resource and find answers to any doubt or concern you might while working on a new project
- More intuitive and easy to use compared to flat design
- Ideal for both seasoned and novice users
- Promotes motion in web design that assists users to get a grasp on what’s happening on the screen and focus on the most important elements
- Affiliated with Google ecosystem
- Time consuming and longer to implement compared to flat design
- Extensive use of animations
- Difficult to understand clickable elements
- Vibrant colors and images can be distracting
While Material design has enough room for improvement, Google’s dream of offering a unified experience across a varied and disparate set of products is commendable. It seems to be a step in the right direction to provide a unified experience.