Published 26 Jun 2014
Material is the visual language for Google products. In their own words - "it synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science".
Its goal is to create a single design system that unifies the experience across platforms and device sizes.
Source: Material Design
A material metaphor is the unifying theory of rationalized space and a system of motion. Our material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired y our study of paper and ink, yet open to imagination and magic.
Surfaces and edges provide visual cues that are grounded in our experience of reality. The use of familiar tactile attributes speaks to primal parts of our brains and helps us quickly understand affordances.
The fundamentals of light, surface, and movement are key to conveying how objects interact. Realistic lighting shows seams, divides spaces, and indicates moving parts.
A single underlying design system organizes interactions and spaces. Each device reflects a different view of the same underlying system. Each view is tailored to the size and interaction appropriate for that device. Colors, iconography, hierarchy, and spatial relationships remain constant.
Bold design creates hierarchy, meaning, and focus. Deliberate color choices, edge-to-edge imagery, large-scale typography, and intentional white space create immersion and clarity.
User action is the essence of experience design. The primary actions are inflection points that transform the whole design. Their emphasis makes core functionality immediately apparent and provides waypoints for the user.
Changes in the interface derive their energy from user actions. Motion that cascades from touch respects and reinforces the user as the prime mover.
All action takes place in a single environment. Objects are presented to the user without breaking the continuity of experience even as they transform and reorganize.
Motion is meaningful and appropriate, serving to focus attention and maintain continuity. Feedback is subtle yet clear. Transitions are efficient yet coherent.