52 comments

  • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, almost 5 years ago

    To me it reads like could be one of the artists statements I wrote in college: oversimplifying a big issue, and sounding like what it is doing is way more important than it actually is.

    32 points
    • Ryan Duffy, almost 5 years ago

      I couldn't agree more.

      I thought I was the only one who was feeling this way, until I saw this post.

      1 point
    • Morley ZhiMorley Zhi, almost 5 years ago

      I disagree completely.

      "Material Design" is trying to say that web design should not be approached differently than physical product design, or "design with real materials."

      The same basic design principles apply to both web and physical design: form should follow function; details like motion and positioning should be applied thoughtfully to enhance usability, not for ornamentation; elements should be bold and meaningful; and so on.

      I think some of the "oversimplifying" you're referring to is from their pyramid approach. A lot of other style guides dive right into details (for example, MailChimp's designer guide has a cursory introduction and dives right into the grid.) Google instead has started with their mission statement: to look at web design from the perspective of physical materials.

      As for sounding like it's way more important than it is -- how would you suggest they modify their tone? They can't really say "this is how we feel, but you can do as you please." Why write a style guide if you don't feel strongly about your convictions?

      10 points
    • Cameron GilesCameron Giles, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

      I think they have a couple key goals here. One of which is evangelizing design/educating developers and the second -- which is related, but more cynical -- subtly ensuring more control of their platform.

      While I'm not a fan of the general tone in a lot of writing related to design, overall, Google has struck a good balance between the priorities I mentioned while making it easy to consume. It's remarkably thorough, and by all accounts I've read so far, it seems like they haven't oversimplified the issue, and really thought a lot about this.

      2 points
    • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, almost 5 years ago

      oversimplifying a big issue, and sounding like what it is doing is way more important than it actually is.

      i guess you haven't read past the Introduction?

      3 points
      • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, almost 5 years ago

        Yeah, I guess I was just talking about the intro — obviously after reading through it I found that they really thoroughly went through every detail, and therefore aren't really oversimplifying anything.

        I guess perhaps I'm a bit sensitive to the "what we're doing is changing the world" tone, and the intro seemed to have that tone to me, but now that I think about it, the other commentators are probably right — it's something they spent time putting together, and to summarize their efforts, it's probably difficult to write without writing in a tone of importance.

        0 points
  • Ib WarnerbringIb Warnerbring, almost 5 years ago

    I find these Google guidelines obnoxious, to be honest. It feels very much like Google hired a new head of design that wants to tell the world what he's learned so far in his career. The guidelines move between semi-interesting concepts to total amateur knowledge, and I still don't know why Google posted these guidelines in the first place.

    11 points
    • Ivan PrignanoIvan Prignano, almost 5 years ago

      I think it is very clear that they posted these guidelines because they want to educate designers (total amateurs and pros alike) on how integrated apps should look like.

      I don't find them obnoxious – at the contrary, I think they're doing a great job trying to make design knowledge more accessible and easily referable.

      "Material design" is just a marketing buzzword. Google, like any other company ("Retina", "Metro UI", etc), is trying to grow hype on their products, and that's totally normal. Don't be mad.

      20 points
      • Ib WarnerbringIb Warnerbring, almost 5 years ago

        Google would be the last company I would turn to to learn anything about design though, that's what I find obnoxious about it. Good products and services, but hardly wrapped in excellent design.

        To me it's like Volvo releasing guidelines on how to build a great race car.

        6 points
        • Brian A.Brian A., almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

          They're actively trying to change this exact perception and build hype around a completely new, holistic design system that hadn't existed before. That's no small feat, and as they say: You have to start somewhere.

          Oh, and Volvo does know a thing or two about building a race car.

          19 points
        • Sam SolomonSam Solomon, almost 5 years ago

          I'm neither an Apple or Google fanboy, but to be fair Google's design work has come an incredibly long way in the last couple of years.

          To me, it appears that Google is getting better at design faster than Apple is getting better at software.

          13 points
        • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, almost 5 years ago

          Google would be the last company I would turn to to learn anything about design

          LOL

          6 points
        • Chris ValleskeyChris Valleskey, almost 5 years ago

          What are you talking about? Design is a lot more than something looking pretty. Google's stuff might not have (at least until recently) looked great, but it worked.

          6 points
          • Ib WarnerbringIb Warnerbring, almost 5 years ago

            I'm aware what design is. I'm not talking about aesthetics. I'm talking about Google's overall design approach, of which I'm not a fan.

            As I said, they have good products and services, but highly scattered and rushed design work that is only good right now because it took them years to figure out how to do it.

            1 point
            • Brian A.Brian A., almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

              ...only good right now because it took them years to figure out how to do it

              I think the word you're looking for is "iteration". Was your design aesthetic perfect in your first year of practicing, or did it take you a while? Are you maybe still working on it, shaping it as you go along? Google is far from perfect, but lets give credit where it's due.

              2 points
              • Ib WarnerbringIb Warnerbring, almost 5 years ago

                I'm a design-first kind of guy so I don't agree with Google's design approach of design-last. That's what it comes down to. I'd rather spend nine days researching and one day designing, instead of the other way around.

                1 point
                • Phil OakleyPhil Oakley, almost 5 years ago

                  Wait wait wait.

                  Google have released some new design guidelines which states how Chrome and Android apps should look, and you're saying they're 'design-last'? Nope.

                  That may have been the case a few years ago, but they've stepped up their design game in a big, big way recently. Their VP of Design is Matias Duarte, who was the former head of Android Design.

                  You're underestimating Google here.

                  2 points
  • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, almost 5 years ago

    Over-embellished motion graphics.

    6 points
  • Aubrey JohnsonAubrey Johnson, almost 5 years ago

    Flat design with shadows.

    4 points
  • Théo Blochet, almost 5 years ago

    It represents new Google design guidelines. It's Google's attempt to make digital interfaces feel more physical.

    3 points
    • Samuel ZellerSamuel Zeller, almost 5 years ago

      Which totally doesn't look "physical", except if you define "physical" with huge flat canvas made of spandex and in various bright colors.

      4 points
      • Yotam Ben DrorYotam Ben Dror, almost 5 years ago

        The way things look can only imply on how they will feel from our past experience and from what we already know from the physical world. When we "feel", interact or operate an object - "material", we do expect the experience to be continuous and coherent, and a good experience will make the product looks, physical feeling, and structural build to deliver a unified continuous experience. When Apple decided to drop the skeumorphism approach with the launch of iOS7, I was a bit upset at start, maybe because it was still feeling "uncooked" or not yet over thought for such a big change. But I did see that Apple learned to utilize what they created with time, and next versions will be defiantly more appealing and clean.

        We have to remember that we interact with devices, touch surfaces, but what apple tried to deliver back than is an experience from the physical world, to connect us with something that is already familiar.

        Google's new approach to unified and continuous experience, by creating a digital product that relates us to our tangible world not by looks, but by experience and ease of use.

        • my humble opinion
        7 points
    • Surjith S M, almost 5 years ago

      OK. With animations?

      0 points
      • Alexander ObenauerAlexander Obenauer, almost 5 years ago

        Yes - one of the goals is to have fluid transitions, so that things don't seem to teleport onto the screen the way things don't teleport in the real world.

        2 points
        • Tyler HowarthTyler Howarth, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

          Honestly though - buttons, photos, video, text, and pieces of paper (!) don't fly around, resize mid flight, and place themselves in front of you.

          0 points
          • Konstantino KapetaneasKonstantino Kapetaneas, almost 5 years ago

            Sure, but that's not really the point. You also don't "scroll" through a piece of paper or pinch a physical printout of a photo to get a closer look. Material design is about communicating to users what the interface affords and how you're navigating through it with movement.

            1 point
  • Vinh LeVinh Le, almost 5 years ago

    design based on paper depth drop shadows popsicle colors animations

    2 points
  • M. AppelmanM. Appelman, almost 5 years ago

    Gizmodo just posted an interview with Matias Duarte, where he talks about Material Design.

    2 points
    • Ib WarnerbringIb Warnerbring, almost 5 years ago

      "But it also feels so fundamentally grounded in logic and common sense that you wonder why users and designers haven't been demanding Material Design all along"

      I know plenty of designers who have been doing "75% flat" for years before Google claimed it as their own invention.

      0 points
  • Tyler WanlassTyler Wanlass, almost 5 years ago

    Plain and simple they are attempting to create a unified experience across their internal applications and those developed by third parties. This simply documents their preferences in hopes that others will follow suit.

    See Apple's take if haven't already: https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/design/index.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40013289

    1 point
  • Elliott PayneElliott Payne, almost 5 years ago

    A lot of butthurt in this thread.

    1 point
  • Klare FrankKlare Frank, almost 5 years ago

    My biggest issue with this is defining these guidelines as "Material" doesn't relate at all.

    1 point
  • Amit Patel, almost 5 years ago

    I'll tell you what this exactly it is...

    It's Google's attempt to be or become synonymous with "high-design".

    They aren't guidelines - it's just marketing materials to re-align the brand to "design" They have no Jony Ive' and basically no relationship to nicely designed products - they just have their reach and technology. By self-promoting ideas of design, they're trying to slowly rebrand as more of a design company.

    This is very art-school speak and Apple, Braun and other companies who are known for their design practices are beyond this garbage.

    1 point
    • Bowen LiBowen Li, almost 5 years ago

      Listening to the Material Design session from Google I/O I was slapping myself in the face wondering if I wasn't watching an Apple conference instead. Paper? Ink? Circles?

      0 points
    • Phil OakleyPhil Oakley, almost 5 years ago

      Matias Duarte is Google's Jony Ive.

      0 points
  • Thomas PhilpThomas Philp, almost 5 years ago (edited almost 5 years ago )

    ugh

    1 point
  • Wes OudshoornWes Oudshoorn, almost 5 years ago

    "... is about giving the brain the same cues that the real world gives it, in order to make the brain work less." - Matias Duarte

    1 point
  • Cameron GilesCameron Giles, almost 5 years ago

    It's another metaphor -- for the physical and a way to implement that in a rigorous, consistent way.

    I think it's a little bit funny that we can't escape the metaphors we have with the physical world, but I do think it makes sense given where Google might be going with this. This has clearly evolved from work on things like Google Now and an evolution of the whole card concept.

    They're doing a lot of work with the whole 'internet of things,' and it's not inconceivable that this really sets ground for an evolution into an "immersive" world where we aren't bound by device specific screens.

    If I had to guess, we'll be surrounded by screens before we have physical materials and screens like the ones Duarte described in his introduction. In that sense, I can understand why there's an emulation of the physical. I really appreciate the emphasis on motion and the z-axis, but I remain unconvinced that it is effective in a world bound by glass.

    0 points
  • David DarnesDavid Darnes, almost 5 years ago

    'Material Design' is merely a nickname for their campaign to unify the design within their online products. Nothing to do with hardware or graphics processing. Not sure why you mentioned '3D'?

    0 points
  • Catalin CimpanuCatalin Cimpanu, almost 5 years ago

    I didn't even bother reading Google's bla bla design guideline. (probably because of the vague terms used in the introduction)

    I smelled bullshit and stayed away.

    0 points
  • Account deleted almost 5 years ago

    Layers on other layers with drop shadows.

    0 points
  • Cory W.Cory W., almost 5 years ago

    It's, like, paper. On, like, a table or something, but it's on a screen. And you move that paper around on the table, but in really meaningful way.

    0 points
  • Moaaz SidatMoaaz Sidat, almost 5 years ago

    What I found interesting was the fact that Google managed to setup a unified design language across a vast number of contexts - desktop, mobile, wearables, television, automobiles...a coherent design language that establishes a strong connection between these contexts.

    I think all designers that have had the opportunity to work with Android have often pointed out as to how some elements of the Android design need a 'polish'. I believe Google's "Material Design' managed to achieve that to a certain extent.

    It was really nice to see how this year's Google I/O was so much more design-centric.

    0 points
  • Maksim PetrivMaksim Petriv, almost 5 years ago

    Material Design philosophy is that you shouldn't just place things on screen without meaning. You should base your layouts and interactions on a principle that all things are real. Imagine them in physical space. How would animations work, how would the objects interact with each other, etc.

    0 points
  • Keaton PriceKeaton Price, almost 5 years ago

    Although the visual execution is different (and will continue to evolve), aren't these the principles that good design has always been based on?

    May it be a radio by Dieter Rams or an interface by xerox, the goal was always to make a user experience that was cognitively simple. That's why skeumorphism worked for so long. It was rooted in these same ideas, but at a time when users needed the comfort of familiar physical patterns.

    I think what we all saw happen was designers like us trying to get so far away from skeumorphic notions that we reduced too much (flat design). Now we're finally finding the happy middle ground and getting back to good principles.

    Very interested in getting my hands on this, and happy to see major companies putting so much into interaction design.

    0 points
  • Nadir BNadir B, over 4 years ago

    You can find a simple explanation here http://theandroidberry.blogspot.com/2014/10/material-design-in-simple-terms.html?m=1 and a Material Design Quick start

    0 points
  • Robin HoodRobin Hood, 4 years ago

    Google's attempt to obscure the obvious, that the world isn't flat and design doesn't need to be also. Oh look, let's put visual cues and dimensionality back into design like it use to be. But instead of plain English, they write it in academic style and give it a new name called Material Design. But less too much common sense gets in the way, let's declare these objects can't bend or fold, because of course no objects in the real world bend or fold.

    0 points