Product Development
Comfort

Bringing self-expression to 3 billion people

Google's "Material You" design framework enables device personalisation at a depth and scale never seen before.

For better or worse, our mobile devices have become extensions of ourselves, clutched dearly all day long, containing our most private of thoughts and dreams. And yet, surprisingly, despite our myriad differences in tastes and traits, mobile interfaces look pretty much the same.

Of course, in light of the rise of the touch screen, it was crucial for device Operating Systems (OSs) to go through a phase of standardisation. Since 2014, Design Frameworks like Android's Material Design have promoted accessibility, familiarity and a ready-made toolbox for developers to build apps that both function and feel consistent to one another.

As a former app designer, I can say that such consistency wasn't always the case, especially in the early wild west days of iOS and Android.

However, what we'd been left with are interfaces that just look, well, a bit impersonal. Beyond our wallpaper, everyone gets the same experience and generic colours when we use our apps.

But this is all about to change...

Enter "Material You"

This Summer, Google announced "Material You", a brand new layer of personalised self-expression for the forthcoming Android 12 Operating System that extends its Material Design foundations.

Here, Material You's designers sought to design for comfortability, asking themselves "how can a design system make a person feel at home with their device?"

And it all works by the user simply choosing their wallpaper. Once done, the device picks out a key colour palette from the image, selecting dark and light tones around luminosity (light level) to allow for readability.

This palette is then rolled out across the entire operating system, creating a unique visual feedback loop that's never been seen before on mobile devices.

Small change, big impact

For a possession so personal, it actually surprises me that we've not seen this sooner. But there is clearly an art to doing self-expression well. Consider the likes of Myspace and its "OS". If given too much flexibility, one can create a particularly poor experience for its users and brand.

In Google's case however, due to its solid foundations with Material Design, they appear to have afforded the right amount of personalisation to users. That is, "small change, big impact": give the user one focused area of customisation, which itself requires little effort to manage, then have the system do the heavy lifting of picking out the right colours and rolling it out system-wide across its component framework. Lovely deep feedback loops ensue.

What makes Material You particularly important is the scale of Android. As of 2021, there are 3 billion active devices. That's a whole lot of self-expression coming later this year when Android 12 launches...

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows y

ou to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Product Development
Comfort

Bringing self-expression to 3 billion people

Google's "Material You" design framework enables device personalisation at a depth and scale never seen before.

For better or worse, our mobile devices have become extensions of ourselves, clutched dearly all day long, containing our most private of thoughts and dreams. And yet, surprisingly, despite our myriad differences in tastes and traits, mobile interfaces look pretty much the same.

Of course, in light of the rise of the touch screen, it was crucial for device Operating Systems (OSs) to go through a phase of standardisation. Since 2014, Design Frameworks like Android's Material Design have promoted accessibility, familiarity and a ready-made toolbox for developers to build apps that both function and feel consistent to one another.

As a former app designer, I can say that such consistency wasn't always the case, especially in the early wild west days of iOS and Android.

However, what we'd been left with are interfaces that just look, well, a bit impersonal. Beyond our wallpaper, everyone gets the same experience and generic colours when we use our apps.

But this is all about to change...

Enter "Material You"

This Summer, Google announced "Material You", a brand new layer of personalised self-expression for the forthcoming Android 12 Operating System that extends its Material Design foundations.

Here, Material You's designers sought to design for comfortability, asking themselves "how can a design system make a person feel at home with their device?"

And it all works by the user simply choosing their wallpaper. Once done, the device picks out a key colour palette from the image, selecting dark and light tones around luminosity (light level) to allow for readability.

This palette is then rolled out across the entire operating system, creating a unique visual feedback loop that's never been seen before on mobile devices.

Small change, big impact

For a possession so personal, it actually surprises me that we've not seen this sooner. But there is clearly an art to doing self-expression well. Consider the likes of Myspace and its "OS". If given too much flexibility, one can create a particularly poor experience for its users and brand.

In Google's case however, due to its solid foundations with Material Design, they appear to have afforded the right amount of personalisation to users. That is, "small change, big impact": give the user one focused area of customisation, which itself requires little effort to manage, then have the system do the heavy lifting of picking out the right colours and rolling it out system-wide across its component framework. Lovely deep feedback loops ensue.

What makes Material You particularly important is the scale of Android. As of 2021, there are 3 billion active devices. That's a whole lot of self-expression coming later this year when Android 12 launches...

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows y

ou to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Product Development
Comfort

Bringing self-expression to 3 billion people

Google's "Material You" design framework enables device personalisation at a depth and scale never seen before.

For better or worse, our mobile devices have become extensions of ourselves, clutched dearly all day long, containing our most private of thoughts and dreams. And yet, surprisingly, despite our myriad differences in tastes and traits, mobile interfaces look pretty much the same.

Of course, in light of the rise of the touch screen, it was crucial for device Operating Systems (OSs) to go through a phase of standardisation. Since 2014, Design Frameworks like Android's Material Design have promoted accessibility, familiarity and a ready-made toolbox for developers to build apps that both function and feel consistent to one another.

As a former app designer, I can say that such consistency wasn't always the case, especially in the early wild west days of iOS and Android.

However, what we'd been left with are interfaces that just look, well, a bit impersonal. Beyond our wallpaper, everyone gets the same experience and generic colours when we use our apps.

But this is all about to change...

Enter "Material You"

This Summer, Google announced "Material You", a brand new layer of personalised self-expression for the forthcoming Android 12 Operating System that extends its Material Design foundations.

Here, Material You's designers sought to design for comfortability, asking themselves "how can a design system make a person feel at home with their device?"

And it all works by the user simply choosing their wallpaper. Once done, the device picks out a key colour palette from the image, selecting dark and light tones around luminosity (light level) to allow for readability.

This palette is then rolled out across the entire operating system, creating a unique visual feedback loop that's never been seen before on mobile devices.

Small change, big impact

For a possession so personal, it actually surprises me that we've not seen this sooner. But there is clearly an art to doing self-expression well. Consider the likes of Myspace and its "OS". If given too much flexibility, one can create a particularly poor experience for its users and brand.

In Google's case however, due to its solid foundations with Material Design, they appear to have afforded the right amount of personalisation to users. That is, "small change, big impact": give the user one focused area of customisation, which itself requires little effort to manage, then have the system do the heavy lifting of picking out the right colours and rolling it out system-wide across its component framework. Lovely deep feedback loops ensue.

What makes Material You particularly important is the scale of Android. As of 2021, there are 3 billion active devices. That's a whole lot of self-expression coming later this year when Android 12 launches...

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows y

ou to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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