What language is used for the Android design

Material design for the perfect UI

Origin of material design

Material Design is one of the most famous open source design systems in the world. In this design, guidelines, components and tools are given. These are used to create user interfaces to make life easier for companies, designers and users. Material Design was developed by Google in 2014 under the code name Quantum Paper. The aim was to create a design system that offers the user clear and clearly structured surfaces. Material design is not only used in Android app development. It is also widely used in desktop programs and websites. In the symbiosis between Android app, desktop programs and websites, it offers users a uniform cross-platform and cross-device user experience.

Interplay of light and shadow

In the experimental phase, the behavior of paper cards was investigated. These actually flat objects cast a visible shadow when the light falls at an angle. The creators of Material Design took this phenomenon as the basis of the design language. The resulting style is based on map-like surfaces, the flat design style. The elements behave like paper that is at different heights and is illuminated by a light source. The effect of elevation within the two-dimensional environment such as a display is created by the shadow. Combined with suitable animations, the objects in the user interface should be perceived as “materials”. They also behave according to our physical laws.

Impact on app development

All devices higher than or equal to Android version 5.0 support material design. This applies roughly to all devices manufactured after 2009. Almost all of the in-house Google apps were given a fresh coat of paint by the end of 2015. With material design as the basis, of course. Examples are Gmail, Google Maps or YouTube. Even desktop programs like the Google Chrome browser use material design. The last time the material design language was redesigned in 2018. Since then, designers have even more options when it comes to working with shapes, colors and typography. Meanwhile, many other apps are programmed exclusively on the basis of the Google design language. Users are in a familiar environment, satisfaction increases and the app is used more often.

UI development with Sketch

The add-on “Material Theme Editor” appeared for the well-known design program Sketch (which is a standard tool in the UI development process and is also used by us). It can be used to create user-friendly and at the same time appealing user interfaces that adhere to the Google standard and can be individually designed at the same time. The Material Theme Editor comes with several pre-built libraries. These can be adapted or redesigned as required.

Conclusion: Material design as a project is not yet finished. Rather, it is to be seen as a process that is constantly being further developed. The primary goal is to create a cross-platform design language. Users of programs or apps that have been planned and developed on the basis of material receive a clear and structured user interface as added value. The developer, on the other hand, receives clear guidelines, good documentation and can fall back on a large number of examples.