3 Things you are Doing Wrong in Material Design

Saurabh Tiwary | 24th March 2017

Google’s Material Design principles are the coolest things out there for every design enthusiast. The beauty of the shadows and layers to create amazing looking interface is something that everyone is fond of.

Since Material Design’s advent in 2014, it sees a vast application in the design projects. It’s been primarily used in providing Mobile UI/UX design services.

Material Design Guidelines

However, after coming across several projects that specifically followed material design, we found some very inappropriate uses of the Material design principles that in most cases looked very clunky and resulted into some unconventional design forms.

Here, I will talk about some common mistakes done by designers while working on the material design principles.


1. Overuse of Shadows

Shadows are the main components of Material Design. Shadows can be a great tool for designing interactive interfaces. They make things look more actionable and make your web and app design very intuitive

But as we know, overuse is never a good idea. While working on Material Design, few designers use too much of shadows into their design with every component. However, this is not a smart approach. Components like shadows and cards are the prime components but at the same time, the material design also recommends a minimalist approach.

2. Ignoring the Material Grid and Keylines

The visuals of the Material Design is primarily based on the principles of high-quality print design. The role of color in this type of design is to explain the content while providing it an order and hierarchy similar to how a newspaper is structured with multiple levels and holds content. Apart from inheriting the print design principles, Material Design makes use of the tools  viz.  grids, keylines, typography and images.

A grid system represents horizontal and vertical lines that intersect and are then used to arrange content.
Talking about the wireframes and the mobile UX, an appropriate use of the grid will help create a balanced, ordered, and rhythmical UI which is harmonious and easier to understand and to interact with .


3. Making Surfaces Vanish into thin air

Motion acts as one of the main pillars of Material Design. Beyond visual expression and behavior, motion provides a meaning.

It makes the surface dynamic, expresses the energy shown by the user to the paper during interactions, guides the focus, provides feedback about the action being done and explains every action that took place after an interaction.

So it won’t be wrong to conclude that the use of motion in Material Design is always meaningful providing visual expression to what action was taken by the user.

  • Make sure that the Material motion is always natural, responsive, clear and  most importantly, intentional.
  • Make use of interpolators as linear movement looks very unnatural. Also, use the appropriate movement as per the movement of the object inside the boundaries.

About Author


Saurabh Tiwary

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