Material Design is a design language developed by Google. Chances are that you have already encountered material design if you use Google products. The design aims at unifying the experience across platforms and different size viewports. If you are a layman you may not even see much of a difference between flat design and material design techniques. The difference lies in the fact that material design takes z-axis into consideration and uses layers. This difference ends up reflecting in the details.
I won’t dive into any further details of this language as Google has done an excellent job of documenting it. If you would like to learn more about material design, you can take a look here. If you are a web designer, you can download the material design kit here.
Benefits of the Material Design:
1. A sleek, simplified and engaging interface
An interface designed with the material design requires minimal input process and delivers the most efficient and effective output. Since a lot of people already use Google apps on a daily basis, you can safely assume that they are used to the user experience. The magnetic feel to the tap is quite engaging in my opinion. I am also a huge fan of floating action button. It is unobtrusive and is always there for a user to take an action at any point.
2. Well documented set of rules. Provides Consistency.
Material design provides a pre-defined set of styles and principles so that you don’t have to worry about explaining the concept details to your designer. The language was developed so that even a non-designer can easily outline, brainstorm and most importantly, comprehend the talking points without much of a learning curve. The concept assumes that all objects are paper cut-outs placed in the real world. It does a good job of providing consistency on all screens and viewport sizes.
3. The virtual feel of the objects
The ‘materials’ layered on the web page respond to frequent actions like mouse over and tap. Such responses tell the user indirectly that they are interacting with a virtual object and prompts them to take a natural course of action.
4. Borrows the best features from skeuomorphic and flat design
One of the biggest difference between flat design and material design is that the flat design entirely ignores the “real world” physics and lighting. Digital elements are made however the designer wishes to make them with no concern on what “reality” would do to the element if the object were physical. If you are not a fan of this approach, material design solves this issue by borrowing some items from the skeuomorphic approach.
So, when are we adopting a material design on our website?
As soon as we get an opportunity.
Let us know what you think of material design for web in the comment section.