Independent Thinking Blog

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Material Design

I received a Lollipop upgrade.

An Android Lollipop upgrade. While I liked the Jelly Bean operating system, I love what Google is doing here. While most system upgrades are strictly under the hood, this one is different. I could see the impact immediately as there is more fluidity between each app and the underlying operating system. I could also feel the difference as Lollipop creates a more tactile relationship between the user and the screen.

Lollipop is a first iteration of Google’s new material design philosophy. The goals:

[1] Create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.

[2] Develop a single underlying system that allows for a unified experience across platforms and device sizes. Mobile precepts are fundamental, but touch, voice, mouse, and keyboard are all first-class input methods.

Pay attention to material design.

Fish at one with their environment

Fast Company has a terrific piece on material design. The author notes that “material design wants to add the intuitive feeling of physical objects in a purely digital environment.” Read the article (really, I’ll wait).

When I first read the article, I was intrigued but couldn’t fully conceptualize the theory in action. Now that I’ve had a peek at what Google is doing, I’m fascinated. Our relationship with technology has been evolving rapidly in recent years, so this “tendency to the fluid” just brings us one step closer–though, to what exactly, is still to be determined.

Hang out with me.

I won’t be tackling material design, but I will be speaking at two conferences next month.

I’ll be talking about strategic planning (and why “why” is the first step to effective communications) at the Religion Communicators Council’s Annual Convention on April 10. Then I’ll be talking about how to use social media to build sustainable communities at the CBODN Conference on April 24.

If you’re in the Washington area, please consider joining me.

Photo credits: Lollipops by Takluda (RGBstock); fluidity by Neville Wootton (Flickr).

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