Google introduced the world, and more specifically designers, to a whole new way of thinking about User Interface and User Experience design at Google’s annual I/O conference back in June of 2014. And ever since that day, the way we have experienced apps and websites has changed forever. But what is Material Design? Basically it’s Google’s design Bible. It’s a foundation of design principles that make the screen on your phone, tablet or computer more intuitive and friendly to use.
To better understand what that hell I’m talking about, let’s take a look at Material Design in action…
Sexy, right? Nothing gets me more in the mood than some smooth UX. But if that video didn’t sell you then check out these top 10 reasons you need to use Google’s Material Design for all of your design needs…
1) Google gives you the playbook for FREE.
I put this at #1 because it’s clearly the greatest benefit of using Material Design. Google spent months and months with the world’s greatest designers formulating a design best practice guide. This type of information is something people pay $100s to have access to. But Google gave it away… fo’ FREE.
That’s right. Everything you need to know is here in Google’s Material Design Guide.
2) No more stressing about tough design questions.
Gone are the days of beating your head against the wall trying to find a solution to what should be a simple UI or UX problem. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel anymore. There are basic design principles that Material Design preaches that when followed, provide you the solution to any design issue.
3) Your website will most likely rank better in search results.
To be honest, this one is not based on any real data. This is strictly an assumption. Why do I assume this? Well for starters, why would Google tell you to build your website in such a way that it doesn’t favor in search engine results? Your site becomes easier to crawl which let’s Google understand the content on your site. And lastly, your site will be responsive. Meaning it will be user-friendly no matter if the user is on their computer, tablet or phone. Google tends to rank responsive sites higher in search results because they provide a better experience for the searcher.
4) You keep consistency between the mobile, tablet and desktop experience.
The great part about Google’s Material Design Guide is that it explains design principles for both mobile, tablet and desktop versions of your product. This means your desktop user experience stays consistent as you pull up your site on your phone. There is nothing more frustrating than designing an element that looks awesome on desktop but does not translate well over in to mobile. All of Material Design’s principles take in to consideration their responsiveness to all devices.
5) Roboto font is clean and easy to read on any screen size.
Along with the general guidelines around elements like layout, menu structure and iconography, Google also introduced a brand new custom font called Roboto. This font is pretty sleek. In fact, the font used in this article is Roboto font. Surprise! If you haven’t already noticed, it’s very easy to read. There is a psychology behind font design that allows certain fonts to be better for long form content than others. Some of those factors include line thickness, curviness and angles of the letters, and spacing between the letters. Roboto was not only designed to look good on a larger screen like a desktop, but also read well on smaller screens like a phone or watch.
Get yours today: Download Roboto.
6) Material Design is already becoming the industry UX/UI standard.
You have probably already been to a site or an app that utilizes the Material Design principles without even knowing. It’s beginning to show up everywhere. Here are just a few example apps and sites that are doing Material Design right:
7) There are multiple resources dedicated to supporting Material Design.
Ever since it’s debut, Material Design has sparked a number of design sites dedicated on providing designers resources for building their sites using Material Design. Some of those sites include: MaterialUp.com, ThemeForest, Polymer, and GitHub.
MaterialUp (@MaterialUp) is one of my personal favorites for searching and discovering great ways people are using Material Design in their apps and websites. The entire site is designed, of course, in Material Design. Which makes it very easy to use and navigate.
8) Your products become more intuitive to your users.
Whenever you build a site or an app, you’re building it to serve a purpose. Obvious, right? But not all sites and apps fulfill that purpose well. This is typically due to a poorly design user experience or wireframe. Your users may find it hard to find the main call to action on the page. Or, they don’t understand where their eyes should start on the page and where they should go next.
All of these problems are solved by following the basic foundation principles of Material Design. With an intuitive layout, your users are able to find or complete what they need quicker. Leaving you with a happy user.
9) It’s designed to be responsive so going from mobile to desktop is easy.
Not everybody designs both a website and a mobile site together. The trend nowadays is to build for mobile first and then expand that experience in to a desktop version. I personally agree with this tactic as it forces you to think simple and to the point about what you want on your site. Rather than designing out a complex desktop version that is hard to translate in to a mobile site.
The great thing about Material Design is the foundation of the design is set for a mobile experience but it translates that experience in to desktop as well. This means that you should build your mobile site out first and your desktop site will become a piece of cake to build.
10) Your app or website’s UI/UX is going to be f**king sexy!!
I mean, let’s face it. All the above are cool and all. But at the end of the day, your site or app is going to look like a professionally done, 21st century product. People take you more seriously when you look that way. By utilizing Material Design you have an asset you can feel proud of. One that you want to show off to the world. Rather than always saying “it’s a starter site. We’re going to update it this year some time.” So join the craze. Drink the punch. #MaterialDesignForPresident