Going into Assignment 3, I decided to take up a design / front-endish role, and started to explore developing applications this aspect. As many of my classmates already know, Google’s Material Design is an excellent guideline for making mobile applications, and is a great starting point for developing applications for mobile. Like how they (and most of the advice from CS3216 that I have heard) say, Artists create, Designers copy, and what’s a better place to copy than from people who have been wildly successful at on-boarding people through user experience! Having explored using Google’s Material Design principles in assignment 3, I have come express some of my views on this design framework.
Importance of Application Responsiveness
Google’s Material Motion focuses on not only on “animating” the application to make it look nice, but also uses animations for specific purposes – making the application look responsive, conveying meaning, and make the user feel natural. Stemming from these principals, one particular design pattern I found the most interesting was how the Material Design team incorporates real world physics to ease the motion of objects in their framework.
Application responsiveness is a very important aspect of the user experience that many developers cannot execute well, and the Material Design team’s take on this could possibly be a design pattern that we could emulate in our application
… and basically everything else “Material”…
And well, there’s a bunch of other stuff on the Google Material Design page that are all equally important in design as motion and application responsiveness, from color scheme, to the application layout, to specific design patterns identified by the team. If implemented appropriately, all of these promise a responsive and well designed application.
However, as university students, in addition to having limited money, we also have limited time. It is impossible to try to implement everything outlined on the material design page (and also, is it even a good idea to try to do so?). What we can hope to do is to implement certain design patterns based on the principals we want to achieve, for both the sake of time, and also for the reason that it may not be a good thing to be entirely dependent on a single design paradigm / way of thinking.
Thinking about the design processes
Finally, as much as it is important to think about how you want to design something, it is also vital to think about the process and reviews you want to employ to reach there. Again, the Google designers are here to weigh in on this topic, and roughly split the design review process into early, mid, and post implementation reviews, with a focus on solving the pain point that was initially outlined.
As many of the students in this class are developers (like myself), I feel that we might initially be scared of attempting to design something as it’s not our “forte”. But as students, we live and we learn, and a guided approach to design could actually produce results that we may surprise us. Start by adapting design ideas and principals, and before long, we will (hopefully) be the ones generating these ideas instead.