What is Material Design

Material Design is a design language developed in 2014 by Google. Expanding upon the "card" motifs that debuted in Google Now, Material Design makes more liberal use of grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows.

Material is the metaphor

Material is a metaphor, a system for uniting style, branding, interaction, and motion under a consistent set of principles. With Material we believe product teams can realize their greatest design potential.

A material metaphor is the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion. The material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic.

Surfaces and edges of the material provide visual cues that are grounded in reality. The use of familiar tactile attributes helps users quickly understand affordances. Yet the flexibility of the material creates new affordances that supersede those in the physical world, without breaking the rules of physics.

The fundamentals of light, surface, and movement are key to conveying how objects move, interact, and exist in space and in relation to each other. Realistic lighting shows seams, divides space, and indicates moving parts.

Material Design for Android

Material design is a comprehensive guide for visual, motion, and interaction design across platforms and devices. Android now includes support for material design apps. To use material design in your Android apps, follow the guidelines defined in the material design specification and use the new components and functionality available in Android 5.0 (API level 21) and above.

Android provides the following elements for you to build material design apps:

  • A new theme
  • New widgets for complex views
  • New APIs for custom shadows and animations

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Tags: Android, Material Design, UI Design