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Android L and Material Design

Finally! A UI principal design that makes sense!

For years we’ve had to deal with very unnatural UI concepts like hierarchical menus that inherently drop as you try and navigate that tiny little channel between main and sub menu. Or have had to endure trendy but ultimately flawed concepts that don’t exist in 3d reality.

One of the best user interface educational experiences I had in the software world was at Action Point, while working with a consultancy called Human Factors International.

We had enlisted them to help us design client-side JavaScript widgets to distribute validation processing to browser. It was a revolutionary idea that would minimize extensive server round trips using CGI  (we were among the early technology many companies to provide this )

HFI sent us two PhDs in cognitive psychology. They talked a lot about things like the Law of Affordances – a concept from a book called the Science Of Everyday Things.

Materials have a natural suggested use that we should try to foster rather than replace

For example, flat, blank services beg to be written upon or stacked , handles on the outside of a door suggest that they be pulled… We have to be careful not to confuse the obviousness of a material’s use with our own clever solutions.

Consequently, the UI design for our prototypes and configurable components was the best we had ever created. It’s what launched our stock price from $8 to $45 /share and ultimately allowed us to sell of that technology to another company for a decent amount.

Simply designed, natural and essentially unnoticed UI is the best user interface you can imagine.

I think Android has finally nailed it this time. Who am I to say? I am an end user that can appreciate the difference between cognitive awareness and declarative knowledge.

You’re gonna like this. Check it out

Android L and Material Design (

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