Quantum Paper Google Design

It is no secret that Google has been pushing for designers to get involved in this year’s Google I/O developers conference. The folks over at Android Police think they know why, Quantum Paper.

Quantum Paper is the name given to Google’s initiative to design its properties so that they provide a consistent experience across all platforms. Plainly put, services like Gmail and Google+ would look and act the same way, whether on the web, iOS or on Android.

The updated design is expected to bring a new icon set, one that we’ve seen a few pieces of in the new Google+ Android app. Does that mean the loved/hated hamburger menu icon is going away? Nope, it lives on, with no apologies to the menu-icon-vegetarians in the crowd, as it may move completely onto the screen, instead of lurking in the corner. An expand/contract ‘cluster’ icon set brings clear indication whether or not an expandable item is open or closed. Another icon, also stolen from recent Gmail and Calendar redesign leaks, provides a big red circle with a plus symbol in it, to be used as a ‘create new’ button.

It appears that each service will gain its own color identifier. We already see red for the Google+ app, Gmail may get blue, Calendar white or green and so on.

Quantum Paper Elements and Icons

In an effort to guide and assist developers in utilizing the design elements and ideologies of Quantum Paper, it is expected Google will roll out GoogleKit. GoogleKit would be the iOS framework for third party developers to conform to Google’s design and implement aspects into their own apps. We presume that Android developers would continue to visit the Android Developers site for their goodies.

Keep in mind that all of this is rumor thus far, we hope to learn more soon, maybe even get a peek in just under two weeks, when Google I/O gets underway. The rumor suggests that the new design would become official with the launch of the next full letter release of Android; the next release is “L,” but we still have no idea what sweet treat it will be named after, nor when it will be announced. Credit where it is due, the original story does a great job of expanding on the subject, all images credit Android Police as well..

What do you think, is Google going in the right direction, or should there be a slight design difference across platforms, taking advantage of the strengths and weaknesses of each?

Jonathan Feist
Android purist and enthusiast, rarely more than arms reach from a stock Nexus 7. Often accused of being a Google fanboy, proud of it. Proponent for Android customization and personalization, if you can change it, make it your own!

    for as long as they don’t cripple the functionality on the desktop version, I am all in for unifying the design among platforms

  • GandangaTororo

    Aaah! Windows Phone still missing in action!?

    • MasterMuffin

      Always :)

  • vieltf

    FINALLY. Nice move, Google. Though I am still concerned with how execution turns out.

  • I hope this also takes advantage of the transparent status bar and navigation bar to make Android a little more attractive and really use this KitKat feature.

  • qazyjc

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  • di93ig

    Why would you want to take advantage of strengths and weaknesses in one platform or another by highlighting them, when you can make weaknesses seamlessly disappear and new wonders slowly get recognized? Sounds like a perfect Android rollout to me.

  • fa

    The problem I’m seeing is that there is the top-left burger menu, top-right three-dots menu, and there’s the “menu” soft/hard button down at the bottom. I hope they do something about that.

  • MasterMuffin

    So ready for the new design change. Nothing wrong with what we have right now, but new is cool and stuff :D

    You wrote google without capital at the end :)

    • I agree, the change will be nice, once we get used to it…

      I wrote that up on the tablet, I am impressed that the stock Android keyboard let me misspell Google.

      • MasterMuffin

        Just tried it myself, it seriously doesn’t offer to change it to “Google” from “google”, but all the other options like ” Google’s” are with a capital. Google keyboard FTW I guess

        • Looks like it is all over the place. In Google Now it did not offer the update, but in Hangouts it sure did. Fun times.

  • abazigal

    Can’t really visualise what a unified UI would look like on all platforms. This would be better when we have some mockups and screenshots to compare.

  • bob

    credit where its due…

    in the future, please be fair and link the original article at the beginning of your article :)

  • Stay Ahead

    Even though I’m not a fan of Windows software, I have to admit that they are a powerhouse. No matter what PC you are using, and no matter what software you’re running, you won’t get lost using it. The look-a-like structure (and some robbery) Gates made it what it is today. Without being able to use most Windows software without any extra training, is what Windows is all about.

    By the way, I would like to ask everyone a question. Has anyone lost their standard search engine or what opens when you open a new tab? When I open a new tab, I get Bing. Something I don’t want and didn’t ask for. I’m having a real hard time getting rid of it also (NO BING TO UNINSTALL IN THE UNINSTALLER). HAVE ALSO SEARCHED FOR CONDUIT AND A FEW OTHER NAMES, no success! I believe that this is Microsoft’ attempt at driving Google out of business just as they have done in the past.

    • takpro

      It is most likely an extra piece of software that was downloaded with some free software or on a Chrome extension. Look in control panel> programs and features for a program you don’t recognize. Something like WebAds or WebGets or secure search and uninstall it. If not there look for a Chrome extension that has been enabled without your knowledge.

  • Jayfeather787

    If only we could get a Linux distribution that looks as modern as what Android and Windows are coming out with.
    If anyone knows one, please say. No one say Zorin though.

  • Chris

    Am I the only one who thinks this is a bad idea?

    I mean, I love the design of Google’s apps on Android, and I want all of my phone apps to follow those same guidelines. But I also imagine that iOS users feel the same about their user experience. Shouldn’t a well designed app conform to the idioms of the platform for which it was built?

    Though I could just be misinterpreting the phrase “look and act the same way”. Would they really follow Android specific UI patterns on iOS? For example, the Android design guide suggests a tabs-on-top is the pattern, and since all native and good third-party apps follow that pattern, we have some degree of UX consistency. But iOS apps use tabs-on-bottom, again with great consistency. Neither way of presenting tabs is inherently better–I’m sure both companies have HCI folks working hard to make sure these patterns work well–but Google would be deliberately harming UX on iOS by introducing inconsistencies if they brought Android-specific patterns.

  • Corbin Crutch

    I like this redesign!