“Focus on the user and all else will follow.” google
Material design is a design language developed by google. It is designed to “Create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.” By creating a design language google hopes to develop a single system which can be used across all of their platforms and the huge variety of devices on the market while providing an excellent user experience. Material design is obvious focuses on app and touch usage at its first glance, tailored to suit both small mobile devices as well as larger screens but pushing mobile devices to the forefront.
While material design is made up from a large number of rules and guidelines it has a few core principles which are applied across the design language. These are
Material is the metaphor
The material in material design is given form from real world materials and tactile, it is designed to echo physical paper or constructions but not be constrained by physical restrictions. This allows users instant recognition and makes it easy for any user to quickly pick up the meaning of the information presented to them. By using realistic lighting and forms they can quickly show how the interface works and provide intuitive controls to users.
Bold, graphic, intentional
Strong use of colour, scale, white space and typography allows the user to immerse themselves fully into the experience, by giving an emphasis on the core user actions through these methods they further enhance and make the user experience intuitive.
Motion provides meaning
Motion is used much more than older designs, it provides a means of focusing attention and generating feedback for the user to better understand and use the software.
Material design will feature prominently in the HCD project. It will be worked into the overall design document as well as the final design as a way to help standardise and streamline the process by using a platform which is tried and tested and already tailored towards working on a variety of devices. While limiting myself to a particular design language may seem anathema to many of the ideas and theories within HCD I see it more as providing a starting point or skeleton from which to design from, and as Cordell Ratzlaff (Head of UX at Google) said “Great design happens within constraints”.
In later blog posts I will go into detail and layout the various rules and guidelines which will be factored into the design, But it is at this point that the idea behind simply designing a blog using the HCD method with a few tweaks has changed. I am planning on exploring the idea of redesigning the overall design methodology to incorporate the ideas, concept and research I have come across to create one for myself in a form similar to IDEO’s which I and others can use to aid in web design and app design.