Material design was a groundbreaking redesign for Google when it was launched in 2014, for perhaps the first time Google had redesigned the look and feel of digital interactions across various screen sizes. It would be fair to say that Material design has influenced digital UI design going forward even off Google’s platforms.
Today at Google IO 2021 Google announced their first major update to Material Design, unfortunately, names Material You. Material You expands upon the growing base of material design to encompass the growing number of visual computing devices. Today we have Phones, Tablets, Foldables, PCs, Smart displays, Wearables, Smart TVs and so many more screens, Material You is looking to unify design across these displays.
Underpinning the Material You design is a custom theming system that adapts the entire UI of a device using a custom pallet of colour. These colours seem to be either automatically generated from chosen images or hopefully can be programmed by end-users.
This unified theme can be used by both Google and 3rd party apps that support Material You. What’s more, the theme can be synced across your account to give you a consistent UI across all of your linked screens.
Google is building accessibility into Material You as a fundamental aspect of the design language. It will be interesting to see how this is implemented going forward.
If you want to experience Material You for yourself you can install the Developer Preview of Android 12, or wait for the official launch on Pixel this fall. There are several Material Design sessions at IO, hopefully, more details will emerge.