| This post was edited by Manwex at 06:41, Mar-27-2017 |
Two design styles, different from each other. One the “hot new thing,” one some speculate on its way toward becoming a passing fad. One a spontaneously-adapted design trend, the other a purpose-built set of guidelines. You’re probably familiar with the conflict between translucent and material/flat design by now.
Material & Flat design
Material and Flat design are defined with a bright color pallet, using shadows on elements to simulate a sense of “height”, and a preference for square shapes over rounded corners. You can basically think of material interfaces as flat interfaces cut apart. And while material design’s animations have been widely praised, when you boil it down, they just serve to make things more user-friendly. In fact, there’s nothing that says that you can’t combine the aesthetics of the two, using the material to give some extra pop to a flat site that remains otherwise unchanged.
Material design, for the few uninitiated, is a set of design standards developed by Google. It has countless unique and interesting features, but perhaps the most defining are its use of the Z-axis. Basically, it adds a little skeuomorphism back into flat design, creating the impression of a bunch of two-dimensional planes floating over each other at designated elevations.
Clarity: Throughout the system, the text is legible at every size, icons are precise and lucid, adornments are subtle and appropriate, and a sharpened focus on functionality motivates the design. Negative space, color, fonts, graphics, and interface elements subtly highlight important content and convey interactivity.
Deference: Fluid motion and a crisp, beautiful interface help people understand and interact with content while never competing with it. Content typically fills the entire screen, while translucency and blurring often hint at more. Minimal use of bezels, gradients, and drop shadows keep the interface light and airy while ensuring that content is paramount.
Depth: Distinct visual layers and realistic motion convey hierarchy, impart vitality, and facilitate understanding. Touch and discoverability heighten delight and enable access to functionality and additional content without losing context. Transitions provide a sense of depth as you navigate through content.
But what are the differences between the two, really? Is one inherently better than another? Better for certain uses? In fact, some people wonder how much difference there is between them in the first place.
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