Chances are that you have already noticed the changes in your everyday Google apps like Gmail, Google News, Google Chrome. This change is a part of the bigger overhaul in Google’s design strategy. They are calling it the material redesign.
This video shows in great detail the fluidic design implemented by Google in its latest update. The real question is where is it leading us? Is it just a superficial update or is there a larger motive behind it?
Material design was first launched by Google back in 2014. The basic principle was based on two factors:
- Unification: A Visual language which works across the platform.
- Intuition: Core principle of Material Design is how “Material / Surface” behaves. This makes it almost obvious to the user what will happen on the interaction.
Although Google aimed at removing design inconsistencies across different devices and manufacturers, the material design became more of a constraint rather than a guiding light. The apps which failed to imbibe the material design principles in them, seemed messy. There was a lot of flack aimed at Google for this high handed behavior. The main complaint was that the apps looked bland, and that they all looked similar with similar buttons and themes.
Google have been since then trying to create a better version of its flagship project. The motivation for this is however something bigger. It’s almost impossible to bring Android under one common umbrella because there has been so many other instances of it running on different devices. This experiment on material design is their way of trying out the new display and UI system before they launch their new project Fuchsia which has been under development for some time.
The reason why Google has given a new look to all its current apps is to change the way GUIs (Graphical User Interface) work and function. We are somewhat still using the same GUI based systems developed almost a decade ago. Google is trying to bring a change in that aspect. With the new material design update, Google has given the developers the freedom to choose from designs and themes without messing up their app. So you can now customize your app and the way it looks, have a brighter color palette and yet have it follow the Material Design paradigm.
This also tries is to make interacting with apps much easier, without having a full app launch. That’s how, you can use the new Gmail from the notification window and even add pictures in it from there. All of these changes, point towards a movement away from the traditional GUI based system. At the heart of it is the Google Assistant and the Google AI. The vision is really interesting. You won’t have to look at your phone and manually navigate between apps. Your voice command will do it for you, smart assistant will find out the answers of your queries from the web. The Google AI system will filter the best results curated for you and won’t just aggregate them and dump it at your screen. All of this will be done from a UI that will be something similar to the present day material design UI.