Watch Matias Duarte talk flat design, his Android Wear watch, and the “death of mobile”

April 16, 2014
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Matias Duarte is one of the most influential guiding figures of Android. Responsible for the creation of the polished, mature user experience we know and love in modern Android, Duarte is also deeply involved in guiding Android’s evolution in terms of functionality and integration with Google’s other products. Naturally, any occasion to hear him talk about design, Android, and Google should not be missed.

In the video above, Duarte talks to The Verge’s Josh Topolsky about a wide range of topics, from the definition of design, to the “death of mobile” as the focus for UI designers, to Android Wear, to why flat design should be balanced by tactile elements. The designer apparently drops hints at the rumored bridging of the user experience across Android and Chrome, though he takes the discussion further, extolling the importance of creating a unitary experience across devices, from smartwatches, to laptops, to big screen TVs.

Duarte briefly talks about the philosophy of Android Wear, which is to offer users just-in-time information, rather than a complete mobile UI cramped on a small screen. The designer admits he’s “dogfooding” an Android Wear watch, though he stops short of revealing it.

Asked about his views on the flat UI design trend, Matias Duarte explains how offering a sense of depth is a valuable tool for designers, hinting that future versions of Android will continue on the path opened with Ice Cream Sandwich.

About Google I/O (for which registration just started), Duarte says the conference will be more appealing to designers this year. I/O is mainly a developer conference, though in recent years, it turned in a sort of All things Google event.

For more insight on design and Android, we highly recommend watching the entire 35-minute interview.

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