Material Design: A Year And A Half Later
It has been over a year since Google debuted its shiny new design language: Material Design. So where are we now and what difference has it made?
Material Design As Of Now
Material Design is slowly but surely getting picked up by developers all across Android, and the results are amazing indeed. Some notable ones include: Relay for reddit, Just Eat, and Inbox by Gmail.
From excellent animations that provide context and sense of place to icons that mean the same thing universally across all Android apps, Material Design has every element of an excellent design language. However, as with everything new, some people simply don’t like it or are not reading the guidelines before applying it to the app which is why we end up with half Material Design and half Holo apps (this has happened to about 80% of all ‘Material Design’ apps, an example of this is Google Play Music). If you have even skimmed over the guidelines set out by Google of what Material Design is meant to be you will fully understand what I mean. Of course the Material Design market is not all failed attempts. There are some extraordinarily designed apps, as mentioned above. Funny thing most of these beautiful apps were designed by one and one person alone. Weird. The idol for all Material Design apps is Plaid. An app designed by Nick Butcher (that’s right, one person), a developer advocate at Google to showcase what Material Design can do for an app. Animations everywhere, beautiful typography and of course fully Material and not half Material half Holo.
What Is The Problem?
I personally think the problem is Google. I’m not the only one either.
Google showed us these awesome concepts of what their respective apps could look like and yet literally none of them look like that yet and it’s been more than a year than Material Design’s release. There is no excuse for time either because if one person can both design, debug and develop a full app then Google, the owner of Android should have no excuse for not implementing it. This has possibly made people say “well if Google can’t even get their apps to look good then why should we bother?” I say Google isn’t doing a good job but then again some of their apps are actually beautiful, for example Inbox by Google and YouTube Gaming. I think if all of Google’s apps were fully Material then developers would be more inclined to follow because they would see what Material Design does to an app and its user experience.
The Android platform is very slowly but surely becoming a fully Material Design platform but developers need to understand what Material Design is and how it is meant to work. Google also needs to update all their apps so that it sets the bar for all other apps so if someone doesn’t read the guidelines they can at least see the Google apps and get a gist of how things are supposed to work.
Feel like there is something I have missed out or there is something you disgree with? Tell me about it down below or on any social media that I am on.