The head of Android design: Small screens are pushing a new wave in design

Google’s Matias Duarte, the prodigy responsible for modernizing Android’s blocky <3.0 UI into something usable and even stylish, discusses his thinking and plans for the future. He refers to Android’s visual design philosophy as not being either skeumorphic or not, but sometimes a fine balance – with examples of subtle, nearly invisible hints to aid users in finding context and flow. 

Easter egg: If you mention Matias Duarte in a post, G+ automatically adds the #HOLOYOLO hashtag to the post. 

“Without almost imperceptible outlines, drop shadows and other visual hints, Google Now cards would require much more real estate to look distinct from one another, says Duarte. “So the cards in Google Now have just the barest tangibility,” he notes. “They’re not skeuomorphic. We’re not trying to give them a linen texture or have letter pressed ink on them. There’s just enough cues that you see it has a thing it’s an entity.”

The head of Android design: Small screens are pushing a new wave in design

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