There are just a couple of breaking points in a design history that, as one can say, have really changed everything. 2014 is one of such points that have changed the face of the design we knew. This is the year when material design was born.  

What material design is

Material design is a design language created by Google for Android. Challenged by the urge to find some engaging alternative to a monotonous flat design, Google team has come up with the way to make the design better and even closer to life. Accumulating the latest achievements in technology and science, Google has brought them together in its attempt to connect everything with a new design type. This is the way material design was born.

In simple words, material design is sort of a digital paper that obey the laws of physics and United States and also has some magical powers.

Main principles of material design

So, what makes material design so special? Why did such an IT conglomerate as Google devoted lots of its time and efforts to develop it? Why do designers from all over the world prefer to use material design instead of a flat one not only on Android (as it was made specifically for before) but also on iOS?

There are main material design principles that turn an ordinary or flat design into a material one.

Material design is simple

It is believed that flat design is simple and therefore easier to create. However, the real simplicity is hidden in material design. It facilitates your app’s functionality and user’s perception. This way, special effects make the interface user-friendly and trendy.

Material is a metaphor

According to the main Google design guidelines, material should be precepted as a metaphor of a real paper and ink that have some additional benefits. Along with using a realistic lighting, those materials make an impression of creating more space and dividing that space into some smaller parts.

Material design is international

No matter what country you live in, material design is clear and understandable for everyone. Typography, grids, space, color, and images serve as a hierarchy of the interface visualization. As far as it is common for every user, it is the same no matter where you live, what language you speak, or what Internet provider or browser you use.

Material design is interactive

The best part that appeals to every user is the animation that is an inevitable element of every app that is created with the help of material design. It makes the design modern and engaging. What’s more, interactive design gets better rates and makes people spend more time using the app.

Material or flat?

Before writing this article, I tried to conduct a small research on which design type appeals to people more. Except for clients, I also asked a couple of iOS and Android developers and, of course, designers. Almost everyone said they preferred material design. The reasons were quite similar. They told me it was simple, user-friendly, met usability requirements, and was far more engaging. However, one of my friends (who works as an iOS developer) said the phrase that I couldn’t throw out of my head.

“Flat or material? Hah. Should a girl be pretty or clever? I’d say, both. The same is with flat and material designs. You should get the best out of them.”

I thought this phrase deserved its right to live. Why do we choose only one design type when we can take the best of each? Material design can be flat in its visualization, especially when it comes to the color palette, and gets implemented with the help of its Z-axis. If you take a closer look at material design, you’ll realize that it’s only the natural evolution and development of the flat design which just obeys the laws of physics.

What do you prefer? Tell DesignContest in the comments!