There has been a significant shift in design trends over the last few years with many choosing to drop the familiar real world look of skeuomorphic design in favor of a more modern clean aesthetic. So, with material design rocking the design world, we thought it was about time we brought you up to speed!

Despite humble beginnings, the metro interface of Windows 8, Apple iOS7, shiny surfaces, gradients and lifelike textures are long gone, making way for cleaner, flatter elements. bold solid colours and simple straight-forward typography. But what is material design I hear you ask?

Gathering lots of interest from designers and developers alike, material design is a design language that aims to provide a consistent look, feel and behaviour for user interface elements. Launched as part of their Android platform, Google has applied the Material Design guidelines and principles to its products such as, Google Maps, YouTube and the new Inbox mail application.

New-material-design

Material Design Goals

Material Design Principles

Material is the metaphor: Inspired by traditional design, material design is open to imagination. Light, surface and movement illustrate how objects interact with each other and excellent lighting shows seams, differentiates moving elements and gives a clear indication of space.

Bold graphics: based on the foundational elements of design, a combination of typography, grids, spacing, colour and imagery help guide material design with the aim of providing an aesthetically pleasing experience for the end user. Google has stated edge-to-edge imagery, large-scale typography, and intentional white space create a bold and graphic interface that immerse the user in the experience”. With key emphasis placed on user experience, material design makes the core functions stand out from the rest, with the ultimate aim of enhancing experience.

It's all about the motion: going back to the importance of the user, motion transforms the whole design. Designs can change shape, can be transformed and reorganised according to the user, yet the continuity of the experience is not broken.

This language has inspired many designers and developers to create new concepts and interface ideas. Think about the new iOS and Android Google App Coloured Headers - material design galore.

Been inspired by material design recently? Let us know some of the great examples you've seen out there!