Material designing has taken over the design landscape as it’s a beautiful metaphor for the whole process. These principles utilize classic print designs with the power of materials to convey depth and reality.
What is Material Design?
Material Design is a design philosophy used by Google that uses the real world as a metaphor. While you may not understand it, everyone knows how material should cast light and shadow. These same principles are used in this philosophy. With classic design theory and using the real world as inspiration, you can create a design that is minimalist and powerful all at once. Designs shouldn’t be overly realistic, but have that “real world” resemblance.
Immersive, animated and 3D design elements are pieces of material design that designers use to enhance the natural flow and create features that mimic the real world, with functionality at the epicenter of the design’s creation. The idea is to take the understanding that humans have of material objects, for example, the look and feel of a notebook, and incorporate that experience into the design.
What are Design Principles?
Generally, design principles are intended to help a designer make decisions while they navigate design projects. Design principles are a mode of guidance for designers so that they are able to understand usability from the user’s perspective and to design with functionality, perception and overall user experience in mind.
Design principles are essential to understanding the material design philosophy. The principles tell you how designs should look and how you should utilize shadow, color, white space and more. Google is constantly updating their philosophy and it has been used to great effect. One of the best things is that not only are these designs minimalist, but the principles are fairly easy to understand.
Five Design Principles
There are many design principles to consider, but this will only cover five of the most important. The first is to use the real world. According to Adobe, “material design uses the physical world as inspiration and creates a new visual language that resembles some of the properties of the world.” You aren’t recreating materials, that could get boring. You are only using materials as inspiration to convey depth and feeling.
Second is using shadows. Shadow has become the newest way to show hierarchy. Newer systems have an easier time conveying shadows. This is more visually interesting than flat designs and adds charm to your program while utilizing the real world as inspiration.
Using bold colors is the third principle. This might be a minimalist philosophy, but using bold colors is expected and well received. You are trying to use as few design elements as possible, which leaves color to make your design interesting. Using bold blues, strong reds and powerful yellows will make your design more interesting to users.
The fourth principle builds on the last one. Not only should you be minimalist in design, but also color choice. Even the brightest flowers only use a few colors. You are expected to choose a main color and a secondary accent color. Both of these should work in tandem to make your design visually interesting.
The last principle covered here is using white space. Most of your design will be white. This is where the user should be focused. Be sure to make this space as interesting as possible while allowing it to convey information to users.
Why are Design Principles Important?
In order to convey a unified design that everyone can enjoy, these principles ensure that all designers are creating apps and programs that adhere to the material designing framework. By doing this, everyone can easily make apps that look beautiful and are visually interesting and compelling.
These principles are made to be easy to understand. Following a few simple rules can propel a new developer into a design master in no time. It can also elevate the entire program. An otherwise dull app can be given new life by utilizing these principles and following Google’s lead when it comes to using materials as inspiration.
Material designs are both minimalist and visually engaging because they take after the real world. People’s brains are already tuned into these designs, so it’s just a matter of using these design principles to make your apps and programs visually stunning. Try using these principles in your design and you will see how much better they appear.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!