Last year when material design was introduced to the world, Google emphasized that its specs were a living document. Indeed we've seen several updates to the spec itself since it launched, but Google's also paying attention to its overall design presence, as evidenced by today's major update to google.com/design.
The site has been made over with a new grid filled to the brim with awesome content.
Google has added design guidance for TV and Auto, and even added an entire article about branding in material design, something I've written about before here at AP. There are also guides for designing between platforms and a downloadable icon font. Read More
Back in November, Google updated its new design guidelines for the first time, adding guidance on the navigation drawer and launcher icons, and - happily - a "what's new" section, which it said would serve as a place to explain future updates to the guidelines.
Yesterday, Google gave the guidelines another sizable update, adding an entire section to guide devs and designers on when and how to use floating action buttons, along with new guidelines for data tables, overall app structure, and guidance on important units and measurements, plus a lot more. Here's Google's full list of changes.
The April 2015 release of the material design spec includes the following new sections:
Additional significant content updates include:
- Typography adds further guidance on style and line height for dense and tall languages
- Cards includes more specs for laying out actions and content
- Dialogs contains additional layout guidance
- Tabs adds guidance around label content and more complete sizing specs
- Scrolling techniques adds guidance for overlapping content
Where Google's last update to the guidelines seemed to be about filling holes, this update is positioned as a response to the community, giving more specific guidance on things that seem to have arisen as points of interest in material design. Read More
Google doesn't want developers naming their apps in ways that could imply association with or endorsement from Android, so instead of the Android Music Player, it prefers Music Player for Android. The idea is that this distinction makes it clearer to users that the folks who make Android had nothing to do with the creation of this particular app.
Now the Big G has expanded this guideline to all other brands. Android developers who visit the company's support page on the topic will see a new section dedicated entirely to this.
This change especially affects developers who create apps that integrate with a social network. Read More
Have you felt the draw to get into app development, but didn't really know how to get started? Google wants to make things a little easier with a brand new guidebook that's meant to get developers on the right path. The Secrets to App Success on Google Play is an 81-page eBook that outlines the process and best practices for developing and submitting your software to the Play Store, and hopefully make some money on it. You won't get anything in-depth about writing code or managing a software business, but there are some good tips and tricks.
The book covers a range of topics across these three common themes: getting set up on Google Play, developing a high quality and engaging app, and making money on it. Read More
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. Read More
While recently re-examining the Google Play Store policies, we took another look at the rules against keyword spam and what the company suggests for app descriptions. Developers are advised to stay away from classic spam techniques like repetitive keywords, exceedingly long descriptions, and unrelated keywords or references. Publishers will often use these tactics in an attempt to sneak their apps into unrelated search results. One of the most interesting of these recommendations comes at the tail end of the page where Google advises against referencing other apps you've published.
Excessive detail, references to your other apps
Your app description should avoid excessive detail and references to your other apps or products.
Google has really been on a roll this week with exciting news for developers, such as a pair of new game-related libraries and enhancements to Google+ Sign-in. This time around, Chromecast is getting its turn with a brand new User Experience Guide. Coming just 2 days after some new apps were added to the whitelist, this 4000-word document details the recommended design patterns developers should follow while implementing their own Android, iOS, and web applications.
Left: Android, Middle: iOS, Right: Google Chrome (web)
The guide includes recommended design principles for both the sender and receiver interfaces, where to place buttons, how to start and stop a cast, and what to do during the various states apps might find themselves in during operation. Read More
If you can't get enough information about Android 4.4 KitKat but you're tired of reading and want something easier - say, a video - you're in luck. Today, new episodes of DevBytes and Android Design In Action were released specifically to give developers and designers alike a brief, informative, easy-to-digest look at what's new.
Today's Android Design In Action covers a lot. Everything from the Nexus 5's display (640x360dp) to the Design Guide's new branding section is covered, along with plenty of other topics.
The half-hour video dives deep into the changes that KitKat offers to developers, and there are plenty of them. Read More
Google has been pushing developers to build tablet-optimized UIs for their apps since the Xoom was the hot new challenger to the iPad (haha). Okay, so that didn't work out very well, but with the release of devices like the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, devs are finally starting to see the value of building a great tablet experience. Of course, it's not like you'd know. The Play Store is terrible at showing off tablet UIs, but that's about to change. Google is updating the developer console to verify tablet compatibility and break up screenshots for tablet/phone interfaces.
From now on developers uploading apps will have the option to verify they have adhered to the tablet UI guidelines for 7 and/or 10-inch slates. Read More