Material [Re]design: Part II, “Are We There Yet?”
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When Google announced Material Design at I/O in 2014 many hailed it as a much-needed change to unify the appearance of the many varied apps available, uptake was slow but many developers converted the UI of their apps and reasonably widespread adoption was achieved.
But does the community still appreciate Material Design in the way they did before? We take a look at the more critical comments you have made over the last few days regarding MD and its adoption.
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This is directing your attention. Image by Miroslav Vitula.
“I think the concept is very awesome. Directing a person’s attention to your focal point(s) is the most important thing in all design. Digital media hasn’t found a consistent way of conveying this. There are “rules” based on studies that show how to manipulate people’s attention, where to place things, the “optimal” layouts, etc.; but when it comes down to directing attention from one “page” to another, every speculation and design is scattered and artistic, at best. A design scheme created specifically for assisting non-user interaction, focusing attention and optimizing conversions interests me. Is it perfect? No. I believe it goes a little too “mobile first” and can destroy the desktop experience (Inbox). While trying to get everyone on the same design concept, personality can be lost; think bootstrap. Like bootstrap, rounded corners, shadows, “3D”, flat, tie-dye, etc.; it can be overused, underused, misused or used to make things that are so amazing and beautiful, it is inspirational.” – Eric Chaffey
“I don’t want my phone to direct my attention to where it
(or its designers) want it to be. I want it to present
information in a way that’s best for me
.” – Jürgen Erhard
“It’s interesting, it’s complicated but Google themselves still cannot use the full potential of it. Look at stock android it looks unfinished and dull, they’re making changes all the time to the design they say that there are standards but they keep improving/changing those standards. Many people are unhappy that Google can’t decide their default language because of that, but they state that it’s a long-term thing I hope they will develop it to the full potential. But for me personally at the moment it’s still not good enough and gets boring very quickly, I prefer other interfaces like LG UX and others.” – F-L-Y-E-R
“I hate material design so much, it’s terrible, the whole UI feels like it has been hit by a blizzard. It looks nice at first but when you need to get things done you soon realize that this pretty interface gets in the way. There is just so much white space, with so little content, you need to scroll all the time and all that white drains battery on AMOLED. The reload and FAB look so detached and out of place in the interface, I have learned that it is there but it just isn’t very logical because many other buttons are placed on top. And who thought it was a good idea to place most UI elements on top anyway!? That’s where they are hardest to reach, if you are a right handed/single-handed user, even Android 1.x got that right (as was the placement of the back button, bottom right, where Samsung still puts it)! And that hamburger slide out, it looks so messy, why leave like 20% of the UI visible in the background, it looks messy and is otherwise ugly.
“Why didn’t they just place hamburger and menu in the nav bar where they’d be easily accessible and save screen real estate? Duarte has turned the Android UI to crap, gingerbread might not have looked very pretty but it was intuitive and easy for single-handed users” – godutch
“MD was one of worst things in LP, not in terms of unifying the Android system, but in how google made it. The large amount of small shadows and layers, that maybe 5% of devs use.
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Image by Miroslav Vitula
Thinking about what you are doing with apps is seriously terrifying. I helped make a few apps, and even if it’s easier to “design” the look of an app, I see that most devs, including Google itself, mess so much with it, that it needs more and more power to hide those problems.
No one give a flying pig about making apps more optimized, because phones are powerful right? well NO. If the system itself and apps would be made with head on shoulder and devs would spend a few more days to make good app (instead of fixing it for rest of their lives) apps would not only take less space, but it would take less resources. I know that apps need to have few version of graphics and today’s phones have high res screens, but still it’s not an excuse to make such a mess like MD is now.” – Akinar
It can be seen that the community still have mixed and strong feelings about MD, as many popular apps have yet to update to a more material theme it can give a sporadic feeling. but in the coming years as more devices move to Android 5+, it is likely that many of these concerns will be addressed and we will see close to 100% adoption.
Check out part one here!