matias duarte

Matias Duarte Interviewed about Android L and Material Design

June 27, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham


Google brought over one of WebOS’ biggest designers a few years ago, that was Matias Duarte. While we saw a bit of what he had in mind for Android with the ICS update back in 2011. We really saw his vision of Android this year with Android L. Android’s design has come quite a ways since Duarte has come on board at Google, and in a good way. We’ve gone from the ugliness that was Gingerbread and prior to the Holo Yolo era, and now into the Material Design era. I haven’t had a chance to play with Android L yet since I don’t have a Nexus 5 or a Nexus 7, but from what I’ve seen, it looks amazing and can’t wait for it to be released in the fall. Gizmodo sat down with Matias Duarte to talk about Material Design this week.

Gizmodo asked Duarte what is Material Design and why did Google start heading down that path?

We had a really big problem. It wasn’t just a problem about going beyond phones and tablets, which was clearly something we wanted to do—we wanted to design for all these different screen sizes. And it wasn’t just the problem of going to multiple platforms and form-factors, right? It’s not just Android and web across all these form-factors. And it also wasn’t just the problem of “We want a design system that’s good for Google.” We wanted it to be a design system that anybody can use to really express their brand and their identity and their needs and capabilities.”

They also said that this is a pretty ambitious thing for Google to do since they have so many elements. Also asked if we’d see this design in Nest in the upcoming future.

Well, we think Material Design provides a palate that anybody can use, any brand can use, to build the best possible experiences. What you’ve seen a lot of yesterday [at the I/O keynote], was Google revealing that palate to the world, and showing how we’re going to use it, in a very Googley, opinionated way. With a lot of white space; a lot of bright, optimistic colors; some cheerful, poppy animations; things that are inherently Googley. Maybe a little more sophisticated, more modern Googley than the past Googliness, and with a bit more design savvy, but it’s very much Google’s style.”

For those interested in the rest of the interview, you can head over to Gizmodo (linked in the sources below) to read the full article. Beware it’s quite lengthy.