Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 10th May 2018 22:37 UTC

Duarte, along with seven other designers at Google, was speaking to about a dozen reporters about what's next for Material Design, Google's system for creating software design. Maybe it's the (lapsed) Lutheran in me, but calling the original Material Design a "gospel" struck a chord. It was religiously adhered to by the Android faithful ever since it launched. Apps that followed Material Design were holy; apps that didn't were anathema. I can't count the number of times I saw an app get dismissed by the Android community because it wasn't updated for Material Design.

And to extend the metaphor (yes, please grant me an indulgence on this), it was also a very restrictive doctrine. The tools it offered helped make many Android apps feel consistent, but it also stripped away too much differentiation between them. They all ended up feeling the same. More importantly, many app makers didn't want to give up their brand to Material Design. It made too many apps look and feel identical.

Simply put, people were being too dogmatic about how Material Design apps should look.

I have a long posting history at OSNews talking about how I value consistency in GUI design, because the more consistent my UI, the less I have to think about using said UI. To me, the strictness of Material Design is a feature, not a bug - and seeing its designers consider it the other way around has me shaking my head. I don't give a rat's butt about "brands" and "differentiation" - I just want to use my damn software with as little effort as possible.

Less auteur app design, more standard controls and views.

I've been using an iPhone X since it came out, and the utter lack of consistency between iOS applications remains a stumbling block to me to this day. It'd be a shame if Material Design went down the same dark path.

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Looks doesn't matter, behaviour matters
by leos on Fri 11th May 2018 16:30 UTC
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I never understood why people care so much about the look of the app. Looks don't matter as long as they aren't confusing, it's the behaviour that is critical. Does it confuse me if one button has rounded edges and the other does not? Nope. Does it slow me down if one app does a flat simple design and another uses a more detailed one? Not in the slightest.

However it does matter hugely if the interactions are not the same. On the desktop it mostly mattered that keyboard shortcuts were the same across apps and on mobile it matters that shortcuts and common tasks were in similar places. It matters that the scroll behaviour is the same, it matters that when I swipe from the left edge it goes back a screen.

The visual style doesn't matter in the slightest, and I completely agree that some apps do well to customize it and there is zero advantage to forcing them into Google's vision of good design (which in my opinion is not good design to start with).

Reply Score: 0

zima Member since:

On the desktop it mostly mattered that keyboard shortcuts were the same across apps

There's much more to consistency of desktops than keyboard shortucts... Perhaps you hardly realise this because most GUIs are descendants of the Xerox desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 2