Polymer give us a closer look at what might be in store for Material Design

by: Robert TriggsJune 26, 2014
Files Responsive Design

As I mentioned briefly when we took our first look at Android L’s new Material Design UI guidelines, Google is also bringing its unified look and feel to the web via its initiative named Polymer. A collection of developer guidelines and examples are already up on the Polymer website, including a wide selection of components for Google’s new Paper Elements design, which will also be used with Android L.

There are changes for virtually every icon and image resource, ranging from checkboxes to toasts, all complete with new animations and sounds. I have tried to arrange a sample of just a few of them in the image below, but to see the animations in all their glory, you will probably want to check out the interactive page for yourself.

Google Polymer

Google has also put together a calculator app based on these design principles, as well as a quiz app called Topeka. Google certainly seems to favour pastel colors for its new interface.

Polymer App Examples

The popular Roboto font, currently used in Android, is also set to receive a slight revision. Roboto v2.0 will be slightly rounder and wider, which Google believes will help with readability.

When it comes to developing apps and layouts for Android, new theming functions help to simplify previously time consuming tasks, such as setting a coherent color scheme, tinting objects, as well as adjusting and organizing layouts. For example, XML color attributes can now be set across the entire app with just two variants. There are also changes to activity scene transitions, a new RecyclerView to replace the current list and grid views, Elevation and Z-axis adjustments to cast real-time shadows and create depth, and the introduction of the floating action button to house important user interactions.

Developers, and curious observes, can check out the various guidelines for working with Polymer, how to make the switch from Holo to Material Design, and exactly how the system has been revamped, in the range of videos that Google has just uploaded to Youtube.

What do you make of the new unified Google look?

  • Yeah

    Too squary and “metry”.

    • alex0000000001


  • MasterMuffin

    Bright pastel colors, flat and smooth animations. I’m going to get hate for this, but it really seems like Google was inspired by… let’s say others. I don’t mind it and I must say it looks good! Just stating my opinion :)

    • waqasj


    • epa

      You don’t really mean Apple right? Google was going down the flatness and simple palette way before Apple did.

      • mobilemann

        the granular permissions and actionable lock-screen notifications they took from apple in L, which is good, as Apple has taken quite a few things from Android. MS had the lead on the flat design

    • i_say_uuhhh

      Actually being a graphic designer, you just described a trend that has been going on several years in the Graphic Design world. It’s called minimalistic. It isn’t a iOS or even Microsoft trend. If anything Google is now starting to catch up to this trend as have others. I’ve been designing like this for years now, I hope I haven’t been copying a company this whole time.

      • MasterMuffin

        I know, Google is catching up now that everyone else did it :)

        • i_say_uuhhh

          My bad about my previous post, it may have sounded a bit dickish. But yes they are, I think they somewhat tried with kit kat, but weren’t quite there. I have to say that I am happy with how the design direction for the interface is going now. Of course I have some complaints on some aspects of the Ui but I’m sure knowing Google they will fix it.

          • MasterMuffin

            No offense taken, I’m surprised I haven’t been called a stupid fanboy yet! Only problem with the new design is that Google may again start dropping features for simplicity and design

        • joser116

          Actually, Google has been doing this since Google Now and Holo. Android L is just a different style.

      • The Horsefly

        or another term “Lack of imagination”.

        • i_say_uuhhh

          Not really, the beautiful thing about Android is it’s customizable. And if you only look at the Ui instead how much features Android has packed on than “Lack of imagination” is a far cry from what should have been described. Lastly, if you don’t like it than don’t get it. That simple.

    • BZ

      I agree, I don’t mind it either I think people should just accept the fact that everyone “borrows” or “copies” from their competition and it isn’t something people should make a big fuzz about in a negative way. Looking at how Google, Apple and Windows have applied the flat look on their platforms they are still different.

  • Luka Mlinar

    It’s like a 1st grade collage project. Apple’s iOS looks miles ahead at this point, it’s sad.

  • imho

    All I have to say is F’ugly!

    • alex0000000001

      Then it’s probably for the best if you don’t speak very often, then.

  • Cal Waldie

    There’s only one problem with this whole redesign….developers and third-party apps. They won’t update their apps for this…they barely move away from Gingerbread! Google Apps will look great, everything else will look like I downloaded it from a Chinese pirating site.

    • Luka Mlinar

      For you. For me it will be the other way around. Everything 3rd party will look awesome and everything Google will look like it was made for simple people.

      • Francisco Enrique Perez Abreu

        He’s not talking about if it will look awesome or not…

        • Luka Mlinar

          Yup, he’s talking about the grid. I know. It’s limiting and stupid looking.

          • Cal Waldie

            I can’t stand iOS for many reasons, but I’ll be the first to admit their apps have the majority when it comes to good looking craftsmanship. Big apps on Android like Pandora and Netflix may look good and change it up, but the average developer won’t do much, especially wallpaper apps, small games, and utility apps.

            One can hope though.

  • Leonardo Suarez

    Thats a new tablet?

  • dro

    seriously Android L UI looks childish cartoonish.. made for kids

  • Stunkuf

    Looks bloody awful like something children would use, no thanks

    • Blowntoaster

      it does. prefer the Holo theme to this.

      • The Horsefly

        anything but this , looks like something my kids would draw with crayons.

    • The Horsefly

      totally it wouldn’t look out of place on something designed by Tomy , i think its part of a general dumbing down which you can see on loads of ggoole apps taking away options and menus , a bit worrying the way its going.

  • bob

    its not bad but its too simple and too childish, like a kids mode… that blur effect really does improve looks substantially, looks more classy, right?

  • shivakool

    lot of unnecessary animations every where

  • Francisco Enrique Perez Abreu

    It looks like a color book for kids.

  • Brandon Miranda

    Can someone tell me is towelroot compatible with 4.4.4? If it is, how would I update to 4.4.4 if I have already towelrooted 4.4.3?

  • Brandon Miranda

    I like it..

  • BZ

    This is awesome, no company can or should make a radical change when updating their graphic designs there are a lot of people out there that don’t care about it but still want to feel like there is some kind of continuity and Google accomplished that this week.

  • It look good, but kind of boring – not aggressive as Holo (which i liked it for), and it gonna burn eyes with all the white and bright color on the AMOLED. More toned down color and blackout app will be welcome.

  • good