Is Google’s Material Design a Web Design Revolution or a Passing Trend?

The digital world has changed drastically in the last few years. In fact, the people’s outlook towards design has changed: design has become more than just any layout, and is one that is built with a planned approach and is flexible enough to cope up with future adaptations. Essentially, people favor accessing web designs that are less cluttered and make them spend less time in searching for the content they are interested in. This led to the development of flat design that avoid using too many elements and heavily depends on the use of simple elements and great typography.

What’s great about flat design is that it doesn’t neither requires 3D objects, nor use heavy décor to grab users’ attention; rather its simplicity is what makes flat design so popular among masses. However, in a bid to create designs that look more realistic to users, Google introduced its new visual language called “Material Design” or MD. The purpose behind creating Material design was to present users with modernistic yet clean design that focuses on UX (user experience).

An untrained eye might not be able to find any difference between the flat design and Material Design approaches. After all, the minimalist look of  Material Design makes it look just like a flat design. However, Material Design has more depth compared to a flat design. Through this post, I’ll talk about how Google’s MD language is here to stay or just any passing web design trend. But, let us first have a brief overview of Google’s visual design language.


Insight on Google’s Material Design

Google released its own visual language (i.e. Material Design) at the annual I/O conference in 2014 with the release of Android Lollipop 5.0. Many designers and developers across the globe considered it to be just another passing trend. However, Material Design is booming with each passing day. As a matter of fact, Google’s visual design language is seeing an alarming adoption rate. The material design specification was created by Google with the basic purpose to provide design guidelines for creating good design and visually aesthetic UI that delivers a consistent experience across all devices. Most importantly, Google’s new design language has been mainly created as a brand positioning effort that will help in validating Google’s place in terms of UX.

 What Makes Google’s Material Design Great Than Its Predecessors?

Below are some of the major reasons behind what makes Google’s Material Design so great compared to its predecessors:

  • Helps Maintain Consistency

For quite long, there wasn’t any consistency between native mobile, tablet and desktop experiences. However, a massive reach was required to provide less varied and a seamless cross-screen experience, which unfortunately, only a few companies have. But, Material Design helps in maintaining consistency in overall design.

  • Material Design is Flexible

The Material Design enables designers to build flexible designs that can be accessed on different device screens. Its guidelines give the ability to meet the demands of diverse Android powered devices, ranging from small to large-size screens. Ultimately, a lot of your time and effort are saved, as with material design you don’t have to worry about creating varied designs for each type and size of devices.

  • Material Design is Better Than Flat Designs

Thanks to the advent of various technologies, today, we can diminish the gap between the digital world and real world.

Skeuomorphism is what started the trend to make digital user interfaces look just like real world items. However, soon Microsoft’s new Metro style called as “Flat design” started flourishing. While skeuomorphism is dead, flat design is still used in many graphical user interfaces of websites as well as web apps.

And, the Material design has introduced a much better approach, taking flat design a notch higher. It helps in creating visually appealing design with shadows and bright colors, making the design look like real world object.

So, What’s next?

With growth in mobility, it has become very important to provide a positive mobile experience, or it can have a profound impact on conversions and bounce rates.

Delivering a positive mobile web experience, means that the web pages will load quickly, boasts easy-to-use navigation, and formatted content. However, several sites that claim to be mobile-friendly in nature fails to address all such concerns.

And so, we need to make sure that the web is a great place for users to expand their focus from merely creating great content. In order to succeed its imperative to create a design that focuses on creating a design that ensures high usability and delivers exceptional mobile web experience. This is where the Material Design Lite (a.k.a MDL) comes in handy.

In an effort to bring Material design to websites, Google has now released a new library of components called Material Design Lite (a.k.a MDL). MDL, basically, offers a streamlined approach for implementing the Material design. Despite of the fact that an increasing number of people using mobile devices than and desktop computers for web browsing, it seems that website owners haven’t paid much attention to deploying optimal mobile web experience to their users, as many people are complaining about the same.

The MDL components like buttons, cards, menus, sliders, etc. are created using the HTML, CSS and JavaScript web technologies. Also, these components can be used for constructing attractive, consistent, and functional web pages and web apps.


The majority of designers and developers are making use of Google new visual design language, owing to the benefits it provides over its predecessors, and the implementation of MDL (Material Design Lite) it is suffice to say that the Material Design language is a web design trend is here to stay, and won’t abate anytime soon.

Do you want to create a design that helps bridge the gap between real world and digital world experiences? Then, you should consider creating a web design using Google’s Material Design approach.

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