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Articles Tagged:

design

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Opinion: My early thoughts on Google's round icons (and consistency for its own sake)

By the time this post goes up, I'm sure most of our readers will have seen Google's circlified icons in the new Pixel launcher, bound for the new Pixel phones. I've been asked a few times what I think about the new launcher and, for the most part, I don't have a strong opinion. But I do have some thoughts about the circlified icons, some guesses at the rationale, and some thoughts about the downsides of consistency for its own sake. As with any written-from-the-outside post about design, I want to note up front that we aren't privy to any research, data, or other information Google used to make its decisions, so the best we can do is respectfully speculate and ponder.

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Pixel Launcher Sneak Peek Part 1: Google's new circular launcher icons [APK Teardown]

If there is anything you can count on to remain the same in Android, it's that Google is continually looking to change it. The visual style of the world's leading mobile operating system is updated every year as new versions are released, but it's with Google's own apps that there are almost constant shifts in what we're seeing. As we all know, Android 7.1 is in the works, and it's expected to be released alongside the upcoming Pixel and Pixel XL phones, which themselves will include a brand new (and much leaked) Pixel Launcher. For its latest daring design move, Google appears to be adopting a new look for the home screen, and it's all about circles.

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Gmail is getting responsive design for emails on Android and the web

You can see the same emails on your phone as you can on your computer using Gmail, but these devices have a number of fundamental differences. The way emails render on a large screen device won't always make sense on a smaller one, so Google is getting ready to implement responsive design for emails in Gmail.

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Google will crowdsource Android Wear watch face designs from the internet

Do you fancy yourself a designer? Well, you might be able to get your art included in an upcoming collection of Android Wear watch faces. Google is working with Paper Magazine to get design ideas from the internet. Interested? You've only got a few weeks to get your submission in.

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Material design spec adds guidance on 'up' vs 'back' navigation, strong words for notification spam, and more in August update

After adding an entirely new section on motion - and new guidance on onboarding and growth - back in May, Google Design is back with another update to the material design spec.

The August 2016 release includes new documentation for Nougat's new notifications, confirming and acknowledging user actions, and widgets, with updates coming to the navigation and full-screen mode sections.

Nougat's notifications, as we've seen through a handful of preview releases now, have a somewhat more complex or info-rich design compared to previous generations. In its new section on notifications, the spec breaks down all the bits and pieces from headers to action areas.

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Opinion: The bottom navigation section in the Material guidelines is not license to port an iOS navigation model

Bottom nav bars. Between the time of Gingerbread and Marshmallow, they seemed to become significantly less prevalent on Android (or maybe I was just able to avoid more of them), with many developers and designers going for other navigation models. But those other nav models - specifically the hamburger menu - aren't always ideal. Often, teams worry that items in the drawer are "hidden" from users. Sometimes immediate visibility and total obscurity seem like the only two realistic options.

To be fair, it's true that ensuring users see these options each and every time they open the app tends to increase usage. And while the situation isn't so dire, it makes sense to have official guidance on popular navigation patterns.

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JDI's new LCD panel has razor-thin bezels on all sides (including the top and bottom)

Itty-bitty bezels are all the rage for high-end smartphones. Samsung's Edge series (which ostensibly includes the Note 7) shrinks them with curved screens, manufacturers like Sharp have crazy designs that smoosh everything down into the bottom of the body, and pretty much everyone is trying to make the edges of their devices as small as possible. But no one has reached the holy grail of this idea: a phone that's basically just a screen on the front. JDI, a Japanese technology supplier, is working on it with their latest design.

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Exclusive: Google may be redesigning Android's home and navigation buttons (again)

What you're looking at above could well be the appearance of the navigation bar in Android N on Google's next Nexus phones, Marlin and Sailfish, when they launch - and possibly all devices using the stock navbar in Android N. According to a reliable source, Google's newest Nexuses may be getting a navbar do-over, but it remains unclear at this time if the new design we're seeing here will be available to all devices running N or only Google's in-house Nexus brand. A closer look follows.

Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
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Google Updates Design Spec With New Recommendations On Motion & Growth

Google, following through on its promise that the material design spec is a "living document," has updated its design guidelines and suggestions again, this time adding more guidance on motion design, along with new sections for growth & communications and expanding panels.

First up, let's look at what's new in motion - Google has given motion design a more comprehensive section, outlining the principles of motion in material design. The section explains that material motion is responsive, natural, aware, and intentional. Transitions should be quick, clear, and cohesive.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 9.51.30 PM

After that brief primer, the motion section goes on to detail - at length - everything from duration and easing to transforming pieces of material and thinking about custom motion patterns that fit in with the material world.

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YouTube Is Testing A New Material UI On The Web

Google apparently has a Material Design UI overhaul in the works for YouTube and it looks pretty good. While it has not yet been pushed to the masses, it is apparently being tested on a small group of users while the developers look for bugs and Google braces for any negative feedback (people hate change, remember). Here's a look at the goods and a way to enable the new UI for yourself.

First, let's look at the homepage. Here's the current version:

2016-04-30_13-32-32 copy

And the new:

2016-04-30_13-29-15 copy

Not exactly a radical difference, but you do see the modern search bar that should be familiar from Google's Android apps and several web services as well.

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