Opposing the fashion of flat and sleek 2D layouts that are still trending in many devices today, Google released its grid-based 3D designing language, Material Design, in the summer of 2014. Since then, it is this year that we see Google employing it as part of a major overhaul of its servers, cloud, software and services. It seems that Google is spending its 2018 upgrading its products and integrating them into the Material Design language to produce the most user-friendly and consumer satisfying applications on the web. The new language also achieves a high degree of uniformity across all platforms and devices irrespective of the shape and type of display. This allows programmers to create applications in a standard language that adapt to just about any screen out there and retain all functionality as intended. This is quite a difficult task for application developers these days and Material Design has just made it a world of a lot easier.
The principles underlying the language follow a very user-prioritizing approach by establishing what it is that the user wants to see and translating it into a format that is naturally decipherable in the same way to the human eye. We do not see objects in 2D. The human line of vision sees length, width, and depth, and Material Design bases itself upon all three of those dimensions of sight, considering locations on its standard grid to have depth as well which determines how layers of design overlap one another. Incorporating depth into the perspective on the screen also adds a sense of weight to the objects seen. This makes for more realistic gestures on the part of the user and more believable behaviors of objects on the screen.
While the two-dimensional trend was and still is considered a practical development in application design known for removing peripheral elements such as shadows and spaces to allow for a better utilized screen grid, the slow re-introduction of the third dimension by Google’s Material Design brings back the all-important shadows that in fact helped the viewer decipher what was on the screen. The reason a 2D approach was established had a lot to do with the fact that uniformity across various screen sizes was difficult to achieve with many such peripheral items on the screen. Google, however, has managed to find a way to keep those peripherals and, in fact, expand its base of displays even further than ever before. Material Design is able to take on the smallest of circular displays on watches as well as the largest commercial rectangular screens all in one language.
Google has invested a lot of time, effort, and manpower into the development of this language because for them, this isn’t about one web browser or a couple different smartphones. Over the last decade, Google has immersed itself into any and everything tech. From designing smart assistants, smart air conditioners, smart televisions, smart glasses and smart windows to continuing to develop top of the line smartphones, tablets, and personal computers, Material Design sets the standard language used to program anything Google sets its mind to. The language allows for seamless communication between all Google devices and applications whilst making it easier for programmers to standardize their applications into one Google-wide language.
After upgrading its Google Mail with Material Design earlier this year, Google has set its eyes on developing its popular web browser, and the good news is that we get to be in on the journey as the upgrade develops. Google Chrome has long had a developer’s mode built into its browser to continually roll out its browser developments for real time testing before they are released officially on the standard web browser itself. While updates in this version are in the beta phase and are prone to malfunctioning and crashing, switching your Chrome to Canary can allow you to get a front row seat to the developing process of the web browser. “Get on the bleeding edge of the web,” Google says, but “Be warned: Canary can be unstable.” Hearing from the many tech enthusiasts who have been commenting on their journey with Chrome Canary, we can expect the browser to do away with a lot of what clutters our screens and come forward with a cleaner and sleeker display that is somehow still yet in line with the card-stock philosophy of the Material Design language.
With these recent integrations of Material Design into Google’s services especially the renowned Android operating system, we can only expect to see more in a plethora of other day to day devices that Google has to offer. Material Design seems to be Google’s way of programming the world flawlessly together and we couldn’t be happier that its done in a way that ensures the pleasure of our eyes and how we want to see our world.