Thoughts on Material Design by Google

Written on July 31, 2015

This is a good article about what Material Design by Google is, and what it isn’t. I thought the author did a good job contrasting between iOS’ design language and Google’s. The article does a good job summing up pretty much how I feel about Material.

Material is a good guideline in providing Android developers some design direction and constraints. But I feel like the focus is on the interface and not the content. A friend suggested we experiment with Material for an iOS app we’re currently building. My initial reaction was that it takes too much focus away from the task at hand.

Deference is where it differs a lot. iOS gives total priority to the content while Android uses the concept of cards to make the content seem more tactile, thus losing important real estates in the left and right portions of the screen. The overwhelming colors also take priority over the content.

Of course, one can get used to the interface and focus on the task, but for me, I like the use of color to provide focus for call-to-actions and areas that I’d like to add emphasis. I think heavy use of color in an app’s chrome could be used in applications that are used infrequently (think Dropbox or Instagram), but apps like an IDE, browser or text-editor, where the user spends hours at a time in the app, I believe the chrome should get out of the way.

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