Material design is a unified system of visual, motion, and interaction design that adapts across different devices. Material design is inspired by tactile materials, such as paper and ink. Material surfaces interact in a shared space. Surfaces can have elevation (z-height) and cast shadows on other surfaces to convey relationships.
Material Design was codenamed as Quantum Paper, is a design language developed by Google and announced at the Google I/O conference on June 25, 2014. Expanding upon the “card” motifs first seen in Google Now, it is a design with increased use of grid-based layouts, responsive animations and transitions, padding, and depth effects such as lighting and shadows. Designer Matías Duarte explained that “unlike real paper, our digital material can expand and reform intelligently. Material has physical surfaces and edges. Seams and shadows provide meaning about what you can touch.” Google states that their new design language is based on paper and ink.
Material Design in Android
Material design can be used in Android version 2.1 and up via the v7 appcompat library, which is used on virtually all Android devices that were made after 2009. Material design will gradually be extended throughout Google’s array of web and mobile products, providing a consistent experience across all platforms and applications. Google has also released application programming interfaces (APIs) for third-party developers to incorporate the design language into their applications.
As of 2015, material design is incorporated in most of Google’s mobile apps for Android including Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, Google Maps, Inbox, and all of the Google Play-branded apps, and to a smaller extent in the Chrome browser and Google Keep; as well as in the desktop web interfaces of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Inbox.
The canonical implementation of material design for web application UIs is called polymer paper elements. It consists of the Polymer library, a shim that provides a Web Components API for browsers that do not implement the standard natively, and the paper elements collection.
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