For this post, we handed the keyboard over to UX Director and Google Design team lead Margaret Lee.
Earlier this month, I shared my story on navigating the mismatch between personal upbringing and professional roles. What I didn’t share was the extent of the bias, sexism, and racism I’ve encountered throughout my life.
I continue to be deeply angered by the shootings in Atlanta that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent—an inevitable crescendo to a year of mounting violence and hatred towards the Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Asian communities. I grieve and stand alongside them in solidarity and in the fight against racism and hatred.
As Google’s Eva Tsai, Director, Marketing Analytics and Operations, shared in a recent essay for the Keyword: “Outrunning and dismissing injustice is no longer an option.” We cannot afford to be silent. We cannot not engage.
Months ago, Google Design shared resources on designing for equity, and today I’d like to continue that conversation with resources focused on action.
Our team has found agency in culling our respective feeds for ways to take action. Here, we’ve broken those into four parts: learn, practice, celebrate, and support. Our hope is that this collection of links gives each of us many ways to take a step forward—no matter where you’re at in this journey—and reach across cultures to hold up one another.
—Margaret Lee, Director, UX Community & Culture
Start by learning and listening
Practice being a better ally
Celebrate AAPI+ creatives
Lend your support
Something else you'd like us to include? Tweet us @googledesign.
It’s time once again to celebrate the product teams who use ingenuity and creativity to bring Material to life. A big round of applause to Moooi, Epsy, and KAYAK! This year’s Material Design Award winners exemplify Material Design in action, and use the system as a flexible, customizable foundation for beautiful, usable experiences. Well done.
Head over to the Material Design blog—ICYMI Material Design has a blog—for a deep dive on the winners. The three categories in this year’s competition included Material theming, dark theme, and Material motion. Each of the winning teams built on Material’s foundation to adapt to users’ needs, with accessibility at the forefront—no small feat. Learn how they created award-winning experiences, and get inspired to create your own: material.io/blog
Last weekend marked the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and to celebrate that landmark moment, I've gathered resources to propel us to design for all, not just right now, but every day.
There are over 1 billion individuals living with a form of disability (be it visual, hearing, motor, cognitive, or situational). Accessing the web via individualized keyboards, adaptive hardware, or alternative cues, this population isn’t always represented in our systems. Remote work presents even more possibilities for exclusion.
As UXers, we’re in a position to make the platforms and products we work on more accessible. Browse these resources and let's take action in our designs:
• Start with web updates: evaluate websites you manage for accessibility errors, increase color contrast if needed, and make sure all images include alt text (for more, see Material Design’s accessibility guide). For apps, use these accessibility scanners for Android and iOS.
• Explore our series on designing for global accessibility, put together by UX Researchers Astrid Weber and Nithya Sambasivan. Part I: Awareness, Part II: Context, Part III: Inclusive Defaults.
• Learn how to make your online meetings inclusive. Here’s how we’re leveraging tools for accessible remote learning at Google.
• See what’s worked and what hasn’t: Interaction Designer Shabi Kashani recounts her trials and errors, and Jen Devins, Head of Accessibility UX at Google, shares how designing for accessibility can improve the whole system.
• Connect with others online and spark conversation via Clarity Conference and NYC’s accessibility and inclusive design (currently virtual) meetup group.
• Watch Crip Camp on Netflix to witness the power of a movement, and join one of Crip Impact's free weekly webinars.
• And check in with yourself! Empathetically designing for others involves refining our own emotional intelligence. Try Dr. Marc Brackett’s RULER framework.
• When you’re ready, take these steps to get your team to invest more in accessible design.
—Erin Kim, Social Media Editor
Accessibility Scanner for Android (Google)
Accessibility Scanner for iOS (Google)
Blind Inclusivity Resources (Perkins)
Color Contrast Analyzer (Paciello Group)
Community & Accessibility Online: A Conversation with Chancey Fleet & Taeyoon Choi (Data & Society)
COVID-19 is Reshaping the Future of Work for People with Disabilities (Source America)
Cultivating Emotional Intelligence: Dr. Marc Brackett in conversation with Brené Brown
Designing for Global Accessibility by Google UXers
Fair is Not the Default: Why building inclusive tech takes more than good intentions (Google)
Hosting Accessible Online Meetings (University of Washington)
How People with Disabilities Use the Web (World Wide Web Consortium)
How to make remote learning work for everyone (Google)
How to make the case for accessibility on your team (Google)
Material Design: Accessibility Guide
Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (Google)
As Pride Month winds down, we’re keeping the celebration going by highlighting LGBTQ+ stories and communities to join in the months to come.
At Google, the 2020 Pride Committee has committed to donating $2 million to organizations that work year-round to uplift and meet the needs of vulnerable LGBTQ+ communities; Read about the initiative, and get to know the global grantees.
To shine light on the powerful history of the movement, we recommend beginning with an immersive tour of Stonewall Forever, a digital monument highlighting queer life before the riots (made in partnership with The LGBTQ+ Center). Familiarize yourself with leading activists, past and present; Netflix documentaries on trans representation and Marsha P. Johnson are good places to start. And walk through 6 moments in contemporary LGBTQ+ design history—from ‘40s queer zine culture to Monica Helms’ Transgender Pride flag in 1989. Or browse the pages of Queer x Design, which captures the signs, symbols, banners, posters and logos used by LGBT+ activists.
Want to get more involved with the community today? Explore these groups supporting queer UXers working across design and technology:
• Check out Queer Design Club’s robust chat space of almost 1,000 LGBTQ+ designers from around the world and the ever-expanding directory.
• Join one of Out in Tech’s daily virtual events and see how the nonprofit creates opportunities for its 40k+ members, leveraging tech for social change.
• Learn from Lesbians Who Tech, a cross-industry community of LGBTQ+ women, non-binary and trans individuals, and allies—Stacey Abrams, Elizabeth Warren, and Megan Rapinoe were some of their recent speakers!
• AIGA NY and Queer Design Club are teaming up for an online conversation on the queer experience in design, discussing QDC’s first field-wide survey with vibrant LGBTQ+ creatives across disciplines.
• Build skills and grow with TransTech, an incubator for LGBTQ+ professionals that focuses on economically empowering transgender and gender nonconforming individuals.
• Listen in on June 30th as Queer Tech NYC spotlights work that’s been founded, coded, and developed by the LGBTQ+ community.
• Join LGBTQ in Technology, a safe, confidential chat space with over 250 conversation channels, making sure no voice goes unheard.
• Queer Tech Club is a monthly happy hour event for professionals in Chicago, now with virtual hangs you can join from anywhere! Their Slack community for LGBTQ+ folks and allies is a great additional resource.
• The Trevor Project also offers resources to help allies be more supportive.
Anything else you’d like to share? Give us a shout over at @googledesign. And Happy Pride!
At Google Design, our goal is to support the future of design and technology for all. This involves introducing new voices and amplifying less-heard ones. Now, more than ever, the design community must not stay silent. We at Google Design stand in solidarity against racism and violence.
Across Google, Sundar Pichai and Black leaders are collaborating on next steps towards change; Read Sundar’s letter on the company’s commitments. Here on the Google Design editorial team, we’re working to uproot bias in our own work by critically examining our role in driving equity through the narratives we share. We’re holding each other accountable with a collective curriculum and study group across our team.
Below, we’ve gathered some of the strategies, resources, and organizations that are helping us improve our processes and ourselves. If you’re not sure where to start, we hope these tactics, and practitioners who are making moves towards equity can be helpful to some of you, too. Start here:
• Hire talented individuals from the Blacks Who Design directory.
• Diversify your feeds and follow the creatives featured on Revision Path Podcast.
• Listen to Antionette Carroll, Founder of Creative Reaction Lab, share why she sees design as system building rather than object building, and adopt Equity-Centered Community Design into your practice.
• Understand the role of shame amidst power dynamics in research in UX Researcher Vivianne Castillo’s talk: Ethics & Power.
• Explore what it means to transform technology systems in the spirit of justice and equity with Timnit Gebru, Google research scientist and Co-Founder of Black in AI.
• Identify the role you can play as an ally through design with Researcher Dimeji Onafuwa’s powerful talk from SPAN 2017 Pittsburgh.
• Plug into conversations like Where are the Black Designers, which seeks to stir change in and out of the design industry.
• Analyze cases of “discriminatory design” with Ruha Benjamin as she discusses the relationship between machine bias and systemic racism, and tools for a socially-conscious approach to tech.
• Listen to Benjamin Evans’ untraditional route to leading inclusive design thinking at Airbnb.
• Get to know organizations that are working towards equity and support them: Code2040 mobilizes the largest racial equity community in tech, Black Girls CODE provides African-American youth with coding skills, Pursuit trains adults with the most needs and potential to advance in tech, and The Center for Urban Pedagogy joins designers, policymakers, and community advocates to demystify urban planning issues.
• And for more learning, explore Theo Shure’s Race, Representation & UXR and Isabelle Yisak’s Incomplete List of Resources for the Equity-Centered Designer.
Have something you’d like to add? Tweet us @googledesign.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve found new ways to work together, while apart. The Google Design team is currently spread across New York, working from makeshift home offices in Brooklyn, Queens, Westchester, and even a couple of upstate outposts.
We’ve also found ways to actively not work, and unplug from our devices—if only for an hour or two. Between rambunctious children and pets, digital dance parties, home cooking, streaming documentaries, and book clubs, we’ve also found moments of gratitude and silence.
Mainly, we’ve been encouraged by all the creative ways our community is showing up to support each other. It’s been uplifting to see the small hacks, care packages, collaborative initiatives, and extensive resources being shared to help us all stay informed, entertained, and connected. We hope you find them helpful, too.
Have something you’d like to add? Tweet us at @googledesign.
Take care, friends.
Community resources:• Bon Appétit Test Kitchen is Cooking at Home (Bon Appétit)
• Free Movie of the Week (Gary Hustwit)
• Glitch for Remote Work (Glitch)
• #HackToHelp (Google)
• PFH—PARTY FROM HOME (@pfh_partyfromhome)
• Quarantine Book Club
• Remote Design Resources from the Community (Figma)
• Remote work wiki (Notion)
• Stay Home, Take Care (Girls’ Night In)
• Working From Home: A Beginner's Guide (99u)
• YouTube Learning (Google)
Today, Google Fonts turns ten, and to celebrate they’re launching a new site and updated catalog! The team spent many months gathering feedback from users and type enthusiasts alike, in order to understand what could be improved. One example of this feedback loop in action is that a feature like downloading fonts is a whole lot easier (it’s now possible to download an entire font family directly from any specimen page). Head over to fonts.google.com to test everything out, and while you’re there note the updated color scheme, which now meets accessibility standards. Bravo!
Wait, did we mention variable fonts? Not to bury the lede, but the new and refreshed Google Fonts also supports variable fonts. This new type of font technology can help make the web faster, as well as more beautiful—which is always a solid goal. Congrats, Google Fonts. Here’s to ten more years!
It’s been a big year for Bauhaus enthusiasts: The famous design school turned 100, an occasion marked by everything from the opening of the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation in Germany to a very special Google Doodle. For the centenary, Google Arts & Culture also launched Bauhaus Everywhere, an online museum chock-full of archival images and new perspectives. And we considered how designers can still learn from the Bauhaus, in an excellent, in-depth essay by Google UX Director Jens Riegelsberger. (Key takeaway: “The exactitude of science and engineering is feared to remove the room for creative exploration. The Bauhaus, on the other hand, embraced science, engineering, and new methods of production.”) Still hungry for more? Our friends over at AIGA Eye on Design programmed a week of Bauhaus stories, exploring everything from the school’s gender politics to its typography. Happy reading, and happy centennial.
Designers, tell us: What tools do you swear by? How do you collaborate with teammates? What convinces you to adopt a new process?
Google is compiling a state-of-the-industry report on how the design community gets work done, with a focus on the most valuable UX tools. We define “UX tools” as any product or system designers use to create, review, or test new work and prototypes. This could include Sketch, InVision, Framer, UserTesting.com, Material Design, or Dedoose, but we’re also interested in hearing about your collaboration and communication tools, like Slack or Google Docs. It’s anonymous, but the results will be shared with the broader design and product development community, and—we think—help improve the way we all work. The survey takes about 15 minutes and is open until October 14.
This year, our annual design conference returns to New York City with SPAN Brooklyn. We’ll gather at 99 Scott—a rehabilitated warehouse-turned-arts space in Bushwick, Brooklyn—for a day-long event uniting design, technology, and art. We’re planning a full schedule of talks, demos, workshops, art installations, and lots more. Over the next few weeks we’ll be announcing our speaker lineup—stay tuned and follow #SPAN19 for the latest. In the meantime, you can explore our related articles, videos, and guides from past SPAN events.
SPAN Brooklyn is invite-only, but there’s another way to get your SPAN fix: Enter our giveaway of SPAN Helsinki readers—Volume 4 is chock-full of interviews, art, and essays on everything from AI to waste-free design, and features contributions from Linda Bergroth, Dan Hill, Lidewij Edelkoort, and James Bridle. Simply fill out this form—the first 100 people will get a copy. Good luck!
Visit design.google/span2019 and our FAQ for more information.
Today we’re announcing our open call for the 2019 Material Design Awards. If you’re a designer using Material Design to build a useful service, execute an ambitious vision, or simply spark delight in a product, we want to see (and celebrate!) what you’ve created.
This year we’ll be accepting nominations in four categories: Theming (products that brilliantly exemplify Material Theming guidelines), Innovation (work that creatively expands on Material), Universality (think inclusive and accessible), and Experience (for superb interaction and navigation). We’re keeping an eye out for meaningful experiences across all categories, and platforms. To see the work we’ve honored in the past, look through our MDA archives from 2018, 2017, and 2016.
Nominate someone (or yourself) by filling out this entry form by August 24, 2019. Material Design Award winners will be announced on Google Design this fall.
With summer upon us, it’s time to pass along poolside reading recommendations—and nothing beats a good hero’s journey. We’ve got you covered with a series of Medium stories on how designers get where they’re going, starting with one design director’s tale of how growing up with immigrant parents influenced her role as a leader at Google. From there, follow one UX researcher’s surprising path from architectural theory to machine learning, and a UX director’s decade-long epic of mining the human side of technology. Cap it off with a journey that might ring familiar to any designer: The tale of what it’s like to be an intern.
Our seasonal recap of Google Design happenings is here, and this edition is jam-packed with news and inspiration. If you missed out on I/O, we’ll get you up to speed on all the design launches and talks—covering everything from AI to sound design to Material’s new dark theme—from our annual developer conference. For those who just want to read up on the Milan Furniture Fair, design at the Museum of Modern Art, or sustainable leather and plant-based packaging, we’ve got you covered, too. Happy reading—and HAGS.
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Are you a design professional working in the US? The 2019 Design Census needs your voice. Set aside 10 minutes to answer 38 questions and add your POV to the largest annual survey of the design industry. Created by Google and AIGA, the 2019 Design Census builds on previous findings to deliver a holistic picture of the design industry’s current state, and provide insight into the complex economic, social, and cultural factors shaping design practice. This year—to better reflect the changing field—there’s an added focus on design educators, agency designers, in-house designers, small business owners, and freelance workers.
The survey opens today and closes May 1. The findings will be published on designcensus.org later this year and as always, all the data will be free to download and use for your own interpretations.
For our first dispatch of 2019, we’ve assembled enough Google Design goodies to put a spring in your step. Our roundup includes a big story on Waymo—exploring how the company’s designers built a brand new UX playbook to foster user trust; an artful interview with technologist John Maeda on agile leadership; and deep insights from UX Director Margaret Lee, who penned an essay on how her immigrant upbringing shaped her take on leadership. We also compiled a fresh selection of “5 Things to Love Right Now”—curated by San Francisco-based designer Shannon May. Dig in for a new bloom of insights and inspiration.
“This year, we choose to show how design enables us to create a common future beyond all the differences, whether it’s for products, services, or public policy choices.”
— Gaël Perdriau, Mayor of Saint-Étienne
The Saint-Étienne Design Biennale opens today in central France. Over the next month, the city will host a variety of exhibitions, events, and conferences that address salient topics in the design, art, and research community. As part of this year’s Biennale, the Material Design team collaborated with tech guru John Maeda to present the interactive exhibition Design in Tech. Opening this week at Cité du Design—and running until April 22—attendees can get hands-on with Material Design’s approach to color, typography, icons, and elevation, and explore key insights from Maeda’s 2019 Design in Tech Report. We hope to see you there! And for those that can’t make it, we’ve got an interview with Maeda and Material Design’s Rachel Been on the symbiotic (and evolving) relationship between design and development.
What does it take to build a great AR experience? That’s the question we asked ourselves when creating a new augmented reality app for MWC Barcelona (formerly Mobile World Congress). To celebrate Android’s annual Partner Walk scavenger hunt, we put an AR-spin on what’s become a beloved tradition. Rather than search for enamel pins as in years past, the app prompted attendees to roam the event collecting life-sized animated AR characters, further enhancing the experience and improving engagement.
As you think about how AR can help you with your next design project, we wanted to share some things we learned from building this experience and watching people use it in the wild.
Download the app to try it for yourself, and read on for our tips.
1. Test your assumptions
A seemingly simple interaction of “scanning” a floor decal and looking up to see an entertaining 3D animation is surprisingly difficult. Breaking down this user interaction, it actually includes a lot of parts—like the physical design of the decal, all the 2D UI, and all the 3D AR elements. We discovered that people continued to look at the floor decal unless there were multiple AR elements, like an animated dotted line, to assist the user to pan their camera phone up.
2. Make it useful
The pin hunt gives attendees a goal to find all the partner booths in the cavernous halls of the MWC conference. As we thought about the AR companion to that experience, the problem became clear: How do we point the person to the next partner booth? This question is one that AR is uniquely equipped to solve. We took some lessons from Google Maps to help us design the scavenger hunt’s AR elements. We made each floor decal unique; scanning one would tell users where they are in the Android Partner Walk, and enable us to point them to uncollected pins nearby.
3. Bring delight
It was awesome to see MWC attendees’ smiles and surprise when collecting their AR Android pins. These were people in business suits, roaming the show floor between meetings, engaged with a collection experience where they were willing to walk long distances to complete the challenge. We put a lot of care in developing the 21 fully-animated 3D scenes and were glad people enjoyed them.
4. Be responsive
One of our biggest worries was a user pointing their camera at the floor decal and it either 1) not triggering at all or 2) unresponsive for an unacceptable amount of time. Anything over two seconds starts to make users question whether they have done something wrong or whether the app is buggy—both are poor user experiences. Related to responsiveness, we also felt that these AR collection interactions should be short and sweet. We wanted the attendees to see a delightful Android, collect it, and quickly orient to the next booth to visit: all in under 30 seconds.
5. Learn from your mistakes
Like any project, once it’s in the wild, you realize some things should have been done differently. One lesson is that we should’ve made the floor decals much larger. When placed next to our office desks, they seemed huge, but when placed in the Fira Barcelona conference hall, they looked quite tiny. Lesson learned! For future projects, we’ll be sure to test physical elements onsite.
You don’t have to have attended MWC to experience this app for yourself. Download it now on your ARCore-compatible device and play around with placing the animated AR pins anywhere you like.
By design director Joshua To and designer Steve Toh of Google AR/VR
New year—new, faster fonts. In the spirit of the Lunar New Year, the Google Fonts catalog now includes five Simplified and two Traditional Chinese fonts—the Chinese written language differs according to country—for designers and developers working with Chinese text. Since Chinese fonts often contain more than 10,000 characters, single font file delivery is unacceptably slow. Building on earlier launches for Korean and Japanese, Google Fonts has analyzed character usage over millions of public web pages to build optimized font ”slicing” patterns for both Simplified and Traditional Chinese. This allows modern web browsers to only download the portions of a font—typically a very small fraction of the complete set—containing the characters that they need.Head over to Google Fonts to check out—and try out—the Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese libraries.
For this installment, we’ve gathered a bunch of goodies to get you through to the new year. Inside you’ll find: our annual review, chock full of hand-picked design favorites and award-winning projects; a bundle of podcasts from our SPAN x Design Notes series, featuring James Bridle, Isabelle Olsson, Stephanie Dinkins, and more; a quick guide to AI terms everyone should know; and lots of other newsworthy items to read while you’re on the road or enjoying some much-deserved downtime before 2019. Happy new year!
“We have world-class designers across key areas… There’s alignment around shared values and approaches but diversity of thought and opinion.”
— Sundar Pichai
When Google was incorporated in 1998, it was synonymous with technology and search engines. But design? Not so much. Today, Google is Fast Company’s 2018 Design Company of the Year. Clearly, a lot has changed over the last two decades. In a new interview with Sundar Pichai, our CEO discusses Google’s design evolution, challenges, and legacy—revealing how we landed the first Fast Company award recognizing high-quality, ambitious design work in an organization.
Japanese fonts are both complex and very large—spanning well over ten thousand codepoints across four writing systems. This poses a unique challenge when it comes to the web, since downloading a Japanese font as a single “block” would make page load unacceptably slow. Google Fonts' innovative delivery system circumvents this problem by splitting the large fonts into roughly 100 “slices” based on an analysis of online language patterns. This intelligent approach was first used earlier this year for Korean fonts, and is now extended to support Japanese text with six web fonts for designers and developers.Try all six fast-loading Japanese kanji fonts
Want the latest fonts first? Join the Google Fonts Early Access Program
This year, our annual design conference is heading to Helsinki. Join 250 makers and technologists for a a day of thought-provoking talks, hands-on workshops, and experiential sessions in Finland’s capital city. We’re thrilled to host world-renowned speakers and Finnish designers working at the intersection of AI, art, and design for a single day of diverse programming. Registration is now open, please visit design.google/span2018 to learn more and follow #SPAN18 for updates on the speaker lineup (and more) in the days ahead.Tickets are free, but spots are limited! Register now for SPAN 2018
A design system only comes to life when it’s used to create meaningful experiences. The annual Material Design Awards celebrate these experiences, showcasing best-in-class designs from our talented community.
Are you working on a product that exemplifies Material Design? Nominate yourself or your team for a 2018 Material Design Award and help us highlight what brings the Material Design system to life. This year’s categories for nomination: Expression, Experience, Adaptation, and Innovation. We’re looking for products that push the boundaries of Material Design and incorporate its expressive capabilities to create brilliant, meaningful experiences, no matter the platform. Start by filling out an entry form—and if you need some inspiration, take a look at the 2015, 2016, and 2017 winners.
The deadline for nominations is August 31, 2018 and Material Design Award winners will be announced on Google Design in October.
This time around we're digging into all things Material Design, including the new customization features and tools announced in May—like Material Theming, Gallery, and the Material Theme Editor. Need something to peruse by the pool? Check out this edition’s playlist of design videos from Google I/O, advice on how to make a teachable machine, and collection of 5 cool things to put on your radar this summer, curated by a Palo Alto-based UX designer.Subscribe here to get the next Google Design Newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.
Got Material Design questions? We’ve got answers. Tune in for our next #AskMaterial Twitter Chat on Wednesday, June 27 from 12:00–1:30 PM PDT, to ask Material Design experts about anything (and everything) from Material Theming to design tools and implementation. Team members from Material Design, Google Design, Design Relations, and Material Engineering will be on hand to answer your questions on the latest Material release.Follow the chat or submit your questions to @materialdesign using #AskMaterial.
“We have a responsibility to create things that are focused on the human experience, things that are centered.” — Yasmine Evjen
Today we’re launching Centered, a new video series focused on human-centered design. Travel the world with host and Google Design Advocate Yasmine Evjen, to explore the intersection of design, product, and people. In the premiere episode, Yasmine follows the International Rescue Committee and volunteers from Google.org in Amman, Jordan as they redesign an app that helps Syrian refugees move from surviving to thriving—a particularly apt subject for World Refugee Day. The series will criss-cross the globe as Yasmine talks to designers, researchers, and engineers, while exploring the impact and importance of a human-centered design process.
In addition to the Material updates unveiled at Google I/O, Material Design also has a brand new website complete with a redesigned UI, expanded guidelines, more developer resources, and lots of handy, built-in features. Pop on over and try out on of our favorites—the redline viewer breaks down the anatomy of a design to give you everything from padding measurements to type sizes, icons, and the components used in the build. You can also generate your own tonal palette with the color section’s design tool, and find ready-to-download themed icon sets. Enjoy!
Looking for a little design inspo? We’re here to help. Our latest Medium roundup is chock-full of inspirational articles and advice: Discover the 12 best “design” books that aren’t explicitly about design; Tips for designing like a visionary; How to create something that doesn’t exist yet; Why design is all about making meaning.Follow us at medium.com/google-design for even more insights from designers at Google.
Go down the rabbit hole in the latest edition of the Google Design newsletter—featuring articles, videos, and resources from our premier article collections, in addition to highlights from recent podcast episodes, 5 Things to Love Right Now, and more.Subscribe here to get the Google Design Newsletter delivered directly to your inbox
Explore how user experience design has crossed over into other cultural realms, in this series of design talks hosted at Google, and curated by New Museum Deputy Director Karen Wong. Watch as musician and artist David Byrne, architects Florian Idenburg, Lauren Johnson, and Ryan Day, work to better understand the concepts of user-as-audience, user-as-participant, and user-as-client. All three talks in the series are now available to view in our YouTube playlist–enjoy.
Can’t get enough of Google Design? Now you can have our latest and greatest delivered directly to your inbox each Friday. The Google Design Download is our new email-only digest of design stories, tweets, and tools—with a delightful free download in every dispatch. From great design writing to cool digital wallpapers and practical podcasts, sign up to get our selection of weekly treats.
Identifying the right problem is crucial for any successful Design Sprint. This one-day, intensive workshop will give you all the necessary tools for finding effective problems, framing them as actionable challenges, and engaging your team to work towards a common purpose. Best suited for folks who plan on running their own Design Sprints, this workshop will help you gain stakeholder support and set the stage for success.
FontStruct—the world’s most popular type design app—just added support for the SIL Open Font License (OFL), creating a pathway for users to submit their designs to the Google Fonts catalogue. FontStruct’s modular system makes it easy to create new letterforms from a readymade toolkit of geometric shapes. By choosing the OFL, users open up their FontStruct designs for others to use, modify, improve, and distribute.
The Google Fonts catalog now includes five Korean web fonts for designers and developers working in the nation’s Hangul writing system. Because Hangul calls for a large number of unique characters, font files are often incredibly large and page loads can be slow as a result. The Google Fonts team used machine learning to develop a more nimble system to deliver Korean fonts to web users on the fly. Instead of sending the whole file, the Google Fonts API chooses a certain ‘slice,’ based on language patterns found across the Korean web. These new fonts will plug into your website just as easily as any other Google Font, and even more Korean fonts are scheduled for release in the coming months.
Visit the new Google Fonts Korean directory
Need a little perspective? Broaden your horizons with our collection of design talks. Get new insights on everything from Artificial Intelligence UX, to emotion-sensing interfaces, and VR innovations from industry leaders like futurist Pamela Pavliscak, designer Senongo Akpem, and UX designers Jess Holbrook and Josh Lovejoy.Learn more and subscribe to the playlist.
Read a new essay by Catherine Courage, VP of User Experience, on the top five lessons learned after a year at Google. Her Medium article focuses on building and maintaining a healthy UX culture by cultivating passion, speed, and an ethical compass. Co-author of the book Understanding Your Users, Catherine is an expert on UX and design thinking, with an interest in brands, product design, information experience, and innovation.
Developers! Amp up your design game with this roundup of our most popular Medium articles: Learn how to take advantage of Android O’s new color management capabilities; Try using browser extensions to build prototypes; Supercharge your design meetings with these decision-making tactics; Learn how to use Android Studio’s new downloadable fonts feature.
Follow our publication at medium.com/google-design to find even more insights and tips from designers at Google.
Before the clock runs out on 2017, catch up on all our latest news and insights in the Year-End Edition of the Google Design newsletter. This installment includes highlights from our globe-spanning SPAN conference series, an intro to our new editorial collections (for type lovers, UXers, and forward-thinking creatives), a teaser for something we’re launching in the new year—and another delightful round of “5 Things to Love Right Now” from a visual designer working on the Jigsaw team.
Subscribe here to get the Google Design Newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.
Learn how to build an app with distinctive typography using Android Studio’s new downloadable fonts feature. Every developer knows that design plays a major role in user experience—it’s often a critical factor in the success or failure of your app. Still, there’s always the temptation to use default fonts, whether to push ahead with a release, to sidestep the expense of purchasing fonts, or just to avoid the seemingly arcane art of type selection. In this tutorial, Google Fonts Tech Lead Rod Sheeter shows native developers how newly available features make it easy to customize typography, reduce the size of APK files, and harness the full power of the Google Fonts catalog.
Google’s newly minted AIY Projects group has just unveiled their latest tool: The AIY Vision Kit. The kit essentially uses the same computer vision capabilities as self-driving cars and the Clips camera, but for DIY design projects. Connecting the Vision Kit with a Raspberry Pi and camera lets you (or your kids) run built-in neural network models, so the system can process live video. Which means it can do things like recognize your cat in the backyard, send an alert when your car leaves the driveway, or take a photo of the squirrel at your bird feeder.
Learn more about the AIY Vision Kit on the Keyword.
Poly is an online library that lets designers and developers browse, find, and download 3D objects and scenes. To make the process of finding the right 3D assets even faster and more flexible, the team just launched the new Poly API, which lets you interact directly with Poly to search, download, and import creative commons 3D assets dynamically across desktop, mobile, virtual reality, and augmented reality.Learn more about Poly and Poly API over on the Keyword.
We’re celebrating World Usability Day by kicking off a new global event series! Join us and Google Developers Experts for talks and trainings on visual design, design sprints, interaction design, front end development, and user research throughout November and December in ten different locations around the world. If you’re a developer, designer, or entrepreneur in Mexico City, come to our first event this Friday, November 10. We hope to see you there!
Are you a designer? The Design Census needs your voice. Take 15 minutes to answer 38 questions and contribute to one of the industry’s best resources for understanding the complex economic, social, and cultural factors shaping design practice today. Created by Google and AIGA, the annual Design Census aims to move beyond basic salary conversations and collect information to empower the design community to take charge of its professional development and achieve greater happiness through insight. The data is open to all.
Do you know the secret history of AI? How sensors change perception? How data collection can change the world? Get a taste of the engaging conversations that took place at SPAN Pittsburgh—from reimagining human-machine communication to critical considerations of data collection, artistic storytelling, and the role of social design. This year’s Pittsburgh event connected the ideas of inspiring creators including ‘Robot Tamer’ Madeline Gannon, data wiz Mimi Onuoha, artist Golan Levin, social designer Dimeji Onafuwa, and many more.
Want to reach your next billion users? We have a growing set of UX guides and tools to help you get started, authored by Google’s Next Billion Users team. Learn about the research and design methods behind Google’s global products, while honing your own approach to designing new products for people in emerging markets. Articles and guides cover methods for organizing immersion trips, conducting UX surveys, designing great apps, and more. Additional articles and resources are slated for release in the coming months, so stay tuned.
Fuel your creativity with the seventh edition of our Google Design newsletter. Focused on #MaterialDesign, this installment covers the latest Material updates, case studies, and winners of the 2017 Material Design Awards—not to mention the launch of our newest podcast, Design Notes, another round of "5 Things to Love Right Now," and much more.Subscribe here to get the Google Design Newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.
The latest updates to the Material Design Guidelines include a new section on offline states—to help you better customize your app for users without internet access. Plus updated guidance for Android Oreo on creating adaptive icons and categorizing notifications into channels, and a section on how settings are grouped, titled, and styled. Find out more by visiting the "What's new" section of the Material Design Guidelines.Follow @materialdesign for the latest news and updates.
Read more about the design behind each of these outstanding apps: goo.gl/6wrKMs
We’re inviting everyone with an internet connection to engage with the creative energy and ideas of this year’s SPAN Pittsburgh conference. Not only are we livestreaming two days of talks, panels, and conversations, but for the first time we’re giving livestream-watchers a free downloadable SPAN Livestream Viewing Kit to make your viewing experience even better. The kit includes information about how to watch the SPAN livestream, tips for hosting your own viewing party, a printable speaker schedule, plus details on our exclusive (shhhh!) livestream swag giveaway.
Download the SPAN 2017 Livestream Viewing Kit and tune in on Sep 14-15.
Stay tuned to @googledesign for #SPAN17 updates!
Check out this roundup of our newest and most popular Medium articles: Learn how UX designers can navigate the new practices of human-centered machine learning (HCML) to make better AI and ML products; Try out new UX motion design tools Sketch2AE and Inspector Spacetime; Read about how one Googler designs UX for developers; Find out how to design new adaptive icons for Android O; Get an inside look at how Google designers adapt Material guidelines for Inbox and Keep.Follow our publication at medium.com/google-design to find even more insights and tips from designers at Google.
Robots are creatures, not things. What is the verb of architecture? Does data have a blind spot? These are just some of the ideas we'll be exploring at SPAN Pittsburgh, Sep 14-15. Sign up now for a spot—we have a limited number of tickets available through open registration.
SPAN Pittsburgh will feature the work of local thinkers and makers, plus presentations by Madeline Gannon, Golan Levin, Molly Wright Steenson, Luis von Ahn, and many more. Visit g.co/span17 for more information and stay tuned to #SPAN17 for the latest.
We're also pleased to announce additional SPAN events this fall in Newcastle-Gateshead, UK, and Mexico City, MX. We'll be updating the SPAN website with additional information and speakers in the coming weeks.
Dive into Surface magazine's technology issue with an in-depth cover story on our VP of Design Matias Duarte. Interviewed at the Google offices in Mountain View, California, Matias talks about his path to UX, the wildly popular computer game he designed in college, and his steadfast commitment to design. We've gathered a few of our favorite moments below:
On his approach to design at Google
"We're treating the process of design as a design problem. I want the design process to be really transparent. I want it to be backed by science, and I want it to be continually reflected upon."
On studying art and computer science at the same time
"I'd be doing studio hours, painting on these massive canvases, and then head over to the computer lab and be working on a ray tracer."
On his childhood
"I grew up naturally becoming aware of politics and the sociological ramifications of everything, from the design of houses to the design of economic policy."
Read the full cover story over at Surface.
This week, the Google Brain team unveiled PAIR: the People + AI Research Initiative. The program is devoted to advancing the research and design of people-centric AI systems. A pillar of the research is Human-Centered Machine Learning, which combines design thinking with AI to open up new opportunities for applications, and new ways to help users.Learn more about PAIR in this Keyword blog post and more about designing for Machine Learning in our Medium article.
Subscribe here to get the Google Design Newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.
Are you working on a product that exemplifies Material Design? Or an app that brings #MaterialDesign to life? We’re now accepting Material Design Award nominations…from you! Nominate yourself or your team for a 2017 Material Design Award and help us highlight the best designs from our talented community of designers, developers, and makers.
Categories for nomination include: brand expressiveness, interaction design, platform adaptiveness, and innovation. We’re looking for products that push the boundaries of Material Design to create brilliant, meaningful experiences, no matter the platform. If your product fits that description, start by filling out a nomination form—and if you need some inspiration, read all about the winning apps from 2015 and 2016.
The deadline for nominations is July 27, 2017 and Material Design Award winners will be announced on Google Design in September.
Not sure which navigation patterns are right for your Android app? Having trouble organizing destinations for your nav drawer? Want to know how bottom nav and tab bars can work together to better guide your users?
Join members of the Material Design, Design Relations, and Material UX Engineering teams on Tuesday, July 11 from 10:00–11:30AM PDT for the first ever #AskMaterial session on the complex topic of navigation. We’ll be on hand to answer all your nav-related questions—so don’t be shy. Follow along or submit your queries to @materialdesign ahead of time using #AskMaterial.
If you need to brush up on your Android navigation knowledge before Tuesday, check out this handy primer on Android Navigation. See you there!
We've got a fresh, new look! Now it's easier than ever to find the articles, news, and tools you love right from the homepage. Take a few minutes to explore our new story collections for in-depth insights on everything from branding to SPAN, and visit our new and improved jobs page to find out what it's really like to work with us. We've got a few more surprises in store, so sign up for our newsletter and keep an eye on design.google.
Check out a handful of our latest and greatest Medium articles: Learn how Google redesigned over 2,000 emoji to make them more expressive than ever; Watch the top design talks from I/O 2017 in our Definitive Design Guide; Get an inside look at Seoul’s vibrant design scene from four of the city’s top studios; Find out what happens when you lock 35 developers and designers in a room for a 3-day design sprint; Read a UX designer’s top tips and tools for getting started in the industry.Follow our publication at medium.com/google-design to find even more insights and tips from designers at Google.
Making Material just got easier. The new Material Components site features a library of components and expanded documentation that let you build easily for Android, iOS, and the web using open-source code. The components are regularly updated by a team of engineers and designers to follow the latest Material Design guidelines, ensuring well-crafted implementations that meet development standards such as internationalization and accessibility support. Material Components make it easy to develop rich user experiences using Material Design, and you can pick and choose which components to add to your app or website—Material Design buttons, menus, cards, ripples, and dialogs to name just a few. Check out all the components and documentation: material.io/components
Whether you're dabbling in Millennial Pink or refining an existing color scheme, the new Material Design Color Tool makes it easy to create, share, and apply color palettes to a sample UI across a range of Material Design components. You can also use the tool to test the accessibility of your product’s text and color combinations using WCAG legibility standards.
In addition to the Color Tool, today's release includes updated Material Design guidance on text fields, a new section on text field boxes, and added resources for guidance on right-to-left icons. See what's new.
Follow @materialdesign for the latest news and updates
What do inclusivity, virtual spaces, and ethics have to do with design? Everything. Introducing Design Is [...], a monthly speaker series on the future of design and creativity. Each public talk is centered on a theme—human, inclusive, immersive—and the series will highlight a broad range of perspectives on everything from human-centered design to VR and ethics.
Design Is [...] kicks off today in Google's San Francisco office with VUI Design Lead Nandini Stocker. Today's event is full, but you can follow coverage of the series on Medium for details on upcoming speakers, video (posted two weeks after each event), and information on how to RSVP for future talks in SF.
Put a little spring in your design step with the fifth edition of our Google Design newsletter. We kick off this latest issue with a look back at our 2016 design highlights–reimagined into a design "care package" of publications, stickers, and other items–before springing forward to explore the future of digital interfaces, new Material Design case studies, upcoming events, 5 Things To Love Right Now, and much more.
Subscribe here to get the Google Design Newsletter delivered directly to your inbox.
Last year, Google launched Assistant, a conversational interface that responds to voice requests with actions like launching an app, playing music, or displaying context-aware search results. Assistant was first released on just Pixel phones and Google Home, but will soon be available to hundreds of millions additional users—a huge development in the rapidly expanding world of Voice User Interface design.
At Mobile World Congress, the team announced that the latest version of Assistant will soon be available on Android phones running Marshmallow or Nougat, with high-res screens, as well as LG’s new flagship G6 phone, which will roll out later this year.
Material Components are now public! Developed by a core team of Google engineers and UX designers, Material Components help developers implement the Material Design guidelines across Android, iOS, and the web. Preview, contribute, and collaborate: material.io/components.
Updated Material Design guidelines including new sections on best practices for platform adaptation, app shortcut icons, help and feedback for your users, plus updates to the bi-directionality and accessibility sections are now available. Brush up on what's new.
Read the latest edition of our Google Design newsletter for a peek inside Pixel's design details, more Material news, and another installment of 5 Things To Love Right Now. Not a subscriber? Sign up!
Our list of the best recently published Medium reads:
A designer and product manager share the story of how 63 new emoji—with a focus on gender empowerment and fair gender representation—make their way into your phone. Read more
A Google Design intern discusses his research after a summer designing for autism. Read more
A visual designer unpacks the redesign of the Chrome desktop, which rolled out in September. Read more
Bob Dylan in the news. Last week, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature; Ben Davies recently argued for his recognition as a UX sage. Read more
Today, we're proud to announce the winners of the second annual Material Design Awards. Recognizing best-in-class designs from around the community, each award highlights a specific aspect of Material Design across five categories: Brand Infusion, Charming Engagement, Creative Navigation, Expressive Layouts, Focused Efficiency. The five winners will be honored at #SPAN16 in LA on October 27.
The latest version of the Material Design Guidelines is now available in Japanese—including an introduction to Material Design principles, motion guidance, accessibility considerations, and much more. Visit material.google.com/jp to download PDFs of the Material Design Guidelines in Japanese.
For the third installment of our Google Design Newsletter, we focus on fonts. Read more on the new Google Fonts redesign (plus other complementary type-related happenings), get to know what's new on Google Design, and get excited for #SPAN16. We're pleased to announce that we'll be livestreaming both SPAN Tokyo on 10/6 and SPAN LA on 10/27, so that people everywhere can enjoy SPAN. Sign up to receive livestream updates in your inbox and join the conversation at #SPAN16.
Check out the new Google Fonts, then go behind-the-scenes to read (and watch) our story on making the directory a better design resource for everyone. With our refresh of Google Fonts, it’s now even easier to browse a collection of open source designer fonts and learn more about the people who make them. Specimen pages, featured collections, and analytics also help you navigate and easily discover great typography.
The second edition of our Google Design Newsletter ships today. Inside we cover #io16, women emoji in the press, Goals for Google Calendar, and the recent rebrand of GV. We also roundup what’s new with #materialdesign, and bring you the second installment of “5 Things to Love."
Whether you’re attending live or livestreaming, we've compiled a go-to guide for design programming at #io16. You’ll find our hand-picked event highlights, office hours for in-person design reviews, and updates to our material design guidelines. We’ll also be expanding the post with links and videos as they become available — stay tuned and check back often.
Material design lives in a world that’s a lot like ours—one that’s responsive, natural, aware, and intentional. The newly expanded #materialdesign motion guidelines can help you produce motion that feels natural, while delivering a clear and cohesive experience for your users. Check out the expanded motion guidance and get to know how things move.
Our latest release also includes new sections on growth and communications (so users can quickly understand what they can do with your app), and expansion panels.
Trying to master a new set? Or want to work out more? Google Calendar’s new Goals feature uses delightful illustrations to help you schedule time for what matters in your life, working around unexpected changes in plans, and even learning from your routine and preferences. Find out how the Calendar team designed a unique experience, using illustration as a tool to guide users, and as an integral component that brings a vast range of activities to life.
Our March 2016 release includes new sections and updates:
A product is accessible when all people—regardless of ability—can use it. We’ve recently expanded #materialdesign guidelines to serve as a primer and comprehensive resource for accessibility considerations. If you’re responsible for determining accessibility standards for your team, or just interested in improving the accessibility of your product for all users—and who isn't?—this is the place to start.
There’s also a new section on bottom navigation—making it easy to explore and switch between top-level views in a single tap.
An easy way to stay up-to-date with our latest and greatest #googledesign news, get updates on features and releases, tips from our team of designers, and much, much more. Check out our first installment and learn all about Resizer, a handy new tool for testing out your responsive UI.