As with Holo before it, Material Design has triggered a deluge of app concepts, mockups, and fancy animations from various enthusiasts and designers in the community (myself included). A key factor that is often left out of these presentations, however, is a detailed and thoughtful explanation of design choices and UI considerations that went into the finished product.

As a designer, explanations of your design thinking are critical when presenting new designs, not just to those that would actually be building the app (they need to know the details), but to a broader audience of end users and even other designers. Explaining design thinking is fun, and it can educate or inspire those you're explaining to, make your creation more compelling, and prove that it isn't just a lot of chrome with some information stacked on top.

In a post to Medium, front-end developer and UI designer Francis Cortez explores a complete conceptual NBA app, which aims to offer a better approach to game tracking, summaries, audience engagement, and overall usability.


The post breaks down - in great detail - the process of thinking through, diagramming, and finally designing each step of the user flow, and - perhaps more importantly - how Google's own guidelines influenced various decisions. The piece is helpful not just because it illustrates the general process of thinking through a complete interface, but also because it provides a good look at how the guidelines are meant to be used - which tidbits, explanations, and suggestions influenced design decisions and how those bits can be turned into something unique.


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It's impossible to succinctly encapsulate the entirety of the post here, but to anyone interested in Google's new design principles, user interface design, or just a good example of how to tackle a conceptual user flow, it's well worth a read.

Source: Medium

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • sivkai


  • Clayton Ginther

    I would love to see more material design articles!

    • Chris

      So long as it's truly material design and not just a handful of floating objects.

      • vyktorsouza

        or holo (with translucent bars)

    • Alexandre

      Hi, Hello, I invite you to meet these apps here that have the essence of the material or design, I hope you enjoy hehe. link http://goo.gl/3Nqle1

  • vyktorsouza

    too bad we'll only get to see real material design on concepts, Play Store is full of wanna-bes

    • ogjrjo

      IIRC that's because true material design will only be available on Android L, since it needs APIs that's only available on L. I also remember that I've read somewhere that you can't upload apps with material design to Play, I don't know the reason why not, but it's in the terms and conditions.

      • Roger Siegenthaler

        Nothing with T&C... All the support libraries for 3D (z-axis) and the animations don't exist below API level L. Therefore any app that attempts to use "material design" on anything below L is going to look bad. What apps should be doing is following the biggest part of Material Design which is the Grid and the thinking process of "display as few actions as possible". That you can do really well even on Kitkat and below.

  • WORPspeed

    I honestly don't like it. I think it is the colors and the circular images.
    But still looking forward to MD, mostly for the fluid animations

  • http://ubermade.co Jay

    I like the thought process a lot. But I still think the final result is too dull. Isn't Material Design supposed to have different layers or levels? Where's the index / Z-axis separation? An app like this, so full of data (grids, stats, tables, scores, etc) could really use that. It was a nice read, though!

    • ConCal

      Good point.

  • Geoffrey Pascoe

    Am I the only one who thinks material design looks absolutely horrible?

    • Marcell LĂ©vai


    • http://www.modminecraft.com/ Nick Coad

      That's a weird thing to say given that any two material designs can lookly wildly different...

  • modulusshift

    That's not how you use snack bars, and why are scores, which are only occasionally displayed in the breakdown, above times, which are consistent and take the top spot when there isn't a score? Give times the top spot consistently, and let the brighter text give the scores scanning precedence.

  • baconslayer09

    Not digging the dark blue color scheme.

  • John

    I'm also not happy with the execution. When I'm looking at the team stats my eye is being drawn to the strong red background of the players' profile pics instead of the impact of the plays.

  • Eisenhorn1976

    Cortez should just find a way to send this to Adam Silver. He's a pretty open-minded and progressive commish and would probably not just ignore something like this. The NBA app needs a visual overhaul. Best bet is to link this to Grantland's Zach Lowe.