Hands on experiments with Google's Material Design


A significant point of reference was the work carried out by Google when they created the material design system. They played with the paper, lights and shadows to create different icons and layerings of interface designs. This analogue approach was incredibly refreshing in a time where the internet was oversaturated with Digital mockups, UI designs and interfaces that all look very similar and flat. I tried some basic experiments, similar to those of Google to to see what happened. 

As I continued my experimentation with paper, I started to recreate some of the user interface work from the Google material design team to see how it really felt. I created tangible app screens with buttons and headers from different coloured paper. I cut lots of pieces of coloured card into phone screen sized shapes, and also cut out strips that looked like headers and smaller panels. I arranged them in different ways to see how this layering approach felt. I made a paper spring and elevated a sheet of card above another to see if the shadow change the feel of the design and made it less flat.


As these are just experiments I have not been too focused on getting the shapes millimetre perfect, I simply wanted a quick way to try out this layering approach and see what the outcome with be. I really enjoyed working with paper to create something that is normally only seen in a digital context as you really feel the buttons and get an understanding of how big they should be. I had a lot of fun experimenting so I would like to continue with this approach of creating interfaces from paper and card panels.

Craft, Practice, Context, UALAdam Marsh