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My take on Material Design

Material Deign introduced by Google was presented to all the users through Android 5.0 that is Lollipop. Apple had their own principles by following flat UI. And now it was google’s turn to make a impact in design. Material design as the name it self says material that is Paper and Ink. Why paper and INK? The reason being they both can be transformed to any size. But when it comes to paper you can find a rectangular or a round one. But not a start or a oval. Why? You can change the shape of a paper from rectangle to circle. But not a star to a Square from a star.

The interfaces are 3 dimensional constructions, composed of layers. We had 3D movie, 3D gaming even 3D TV, Now it was time to make an appearance in mobile as well. How do we do it in such a way where we don’t need to spend on cellphones but still have the feel of 3 dimensional apps in out android phones? Shadows? Layers on top of each other? Well we had it before. What difference does material design make? The main object is to constrain the 3D space within the cellphone and not pop out of the screen. The best way is to create layers in the cellphone. For ex: The bottom of the phone is the background in any app, and the header is the foreground. Lets take a simple header, a solid with a image and a background solid. Divide the phone in three layers, The bottom most can be the background solid, solid with image to be the centre layer and the header on the top most layer.

Now coming to how the shadow is represented in such a way where you feel its 3 dimensional. Most of us think its taking real time lighting so we can see the shadow adjust to itself. Well no! The trick is to create an illusion in such a way where you feel its real but its not. Tricky isn’t it? How do we do it? Usage of two lights that is Key light and Ambient light makes the perfect illusion. If you place a small piece of paper on top of a large paper how does it look? The larger paper will show the shadow of the smaller one, have a darker shadow at the bottom, and the surrounding will be the lighter shadow. So thats the Layers/paper shadow.

That takes care of the paper. What about ink? Where does that come in play? Well to write something we need ink. Here we use it too. The reason why we name it ink. But not any other name is because, you put a drop of ink on a paper and u put your finger on top, it will create a ripple effect. That what is happening in here too. We had to make the UX simple as well as the user know something is happening. Hence the ripple effect.

Well that takes care of Paper and ink. Is that all? No. Google has come up with something called as FAB (Floating Action Button). What is that? Why is that? its an action which is presented on the screen which consists of the most important action on the screen. Simple example can be a mail/messaging application. I go through my messages. But i want compose a mail/message. Previously i used to find it in the header. But now i can find it present at the bottom right of the screen. Why there? Why not top left? why not bottom left? We can humongous phones such as nexus 6, new galaxy notes etc. Going to the header and tapping on the function is a bit irritating.

Now if you talk about colors. Why are they going ahead with vibrant colors rather than any random dull colors. Have u ever seen any paper with a dull shade? A color is what defines the app. It is what attracts the user. Android is now much more playable when compared to iOS. Yea iOS is classy. But android is more of a much user friendly and vibrant than iOS. I can now say that Android is cooler than iOS. They had such playful names Ice cream sandwich, jelly bean, Donut, Eclair. But why such boring UI? Now they have gone to the next level by making it more playful in all the aspects including colors, icons, and mainly the UX.

All these features are cool. But it comes with few cons as well. What exactly is it? well firstly the size. With all the UX and the elements the bite size is increased. And the animation it works fine if you have a 2gb ram. But when it comes to few phones its lagging quiet often. Moto G which was one of motorola master piece had complaints saying the battery life has gone for a toss, phone is getting lagged, and its not smooth. Now having all these issues are not acceptable by any user. And obviously we can’t expect Google to just pass these comments through. What’s the solution for it? The names DART. Its not a new app or a operating system. its a completely new Programming language. All the apps which are running on our phones are of 60fps that is 60 frames per second. Well few phones are still stuck with 30fps and if you install a 60 fps app you can’t expect it to be perfect. As we all know android developers use JAVA in their programming language. But when it comes to DART, there is no JAVA and the best part is it runs in 120fps which will be perfectly compatible in even 30 fps phones. But we have to wait for a while as still the R&D going on about it. But can’t wait to check on how it will work!

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