Material Design launched in 2014, and it was mostly thought of as a new design language for Android — though it later came to the web and iOS. It had a bold idea: there should be a physicality to software design not unlike the physicality of paper. It should follow some rules that are almost physical, with layers of magic paper and strictures for how different software elements like buttons and drawers should behave.
“We went out with the original Material Design with what was a very fresh and very opinionated style. We wanted to get attention,” says Matias Duarte, the head of the Material Design group at Google. “And it was so strong and so opinionated and so successful, a lot of both the designer and developer community took it as a ‘gospel,’ perhaps is the right word.”
Duarte, along with seven other designers at Google, was