Ask DN: When to start designing for Android "Material" Design

over 5 years ago from , Design Director

We've been asked to do an iOS + Android app for a client – which is great – but it's slightly unfortunately timed with the switch from pre-Material Design Android conventions and the new version of Android.

We don't typically get asked to do Android apps very often, but I've designed 2 or 3, mostly within the conventions of the OS.

My question is, when's the time to switch over to designing with Material Design in mind?

I know the default answer is "right now!" but I do have to keep the developers in mind and allow for backwards compatibility for older versions of Android as well. Anyone have insight about the development of an Android app entail regarding backwards compatibility when it comes to design?

Any advice or words of wisdom?


  • Anthony WingfieldAnthony Wingfield, over 5 years ago

    The tools are there to develop and build material design apps.

    The new versions of android are usually released late October early November, so I would assume the final versions of the necessary tools would be released.

    We aren't to far away from the L release so I think you should be safe designing with material in mid.

    Good Luck

    1 point
  • Gabe WillGabe Will, over 5 years ago (edited over 5 years ago )

    I'm in the same situation.

    I'm currently mocking up a material design version of an app we're building for a client, but since it's a pretty small project and will mostly be used internally on their end, I feel okay experimenting with it.

    However: Since the design docs say “This document is a preview,” I'd be slow to dive in head first—especially since there are some inconsistencies and missing info that suggest Google's not yet finished.

    If you're in charge of both the iOS and Android versions of the client app, I'd start working on the iOS version first in hopes that the material design docs will be finalized in the near future. There's a good reason we haven't seen bigger apps switching over to the new design language just yet.

    1 point
  • Jahit JJahit J, over 5 years ago

    Have an idea for Android? Prepare yourself now. Get it. Get paid. Change the world

    0 points