Design is a core part of app development and it is not only fundamental to the way an app looks, but also to the way it works, as Steve Jobs once said. With that in mind, it is important to note that in order for an ecosystem to function properly, all parts must be in good communication while constantly feeding off each other. What that means is that it is in Google’s best interest to help app developers and, in this case designers, so that can come up with bigger and better results which in turn boost the overall quality, popularity, etc. of Google operating system.
That being said, it is time to present the newest ways in which Google achieves this, as it has recently release a set of four new tools that are meant to help app designers communicate, evaluate, and share their project progress so that it can be in better accord with the visions and ideals of both the creator and his collaborators, or the entire team, where it is the case.
Google has recently releases a suite of tools that are meant to help app designers to better interact and improve products. Google claims that this toolkit surpasses what designers previously had at hand to work with. The kit which promises to improve performance and quality in noticeable manners is built as an extension of Google’s Material Design concept, which was first released 2 years ago.
When It first came out, Google’s Material Design presented itself as what you might call a design language of sorts, meaning that it bridged the link between developers and designers. There are a total of three new tools that developers can use to improve on their work and even collaborate on each other’s projects so that the whole community benefits as an end result.
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Google already provided a means for designers to get the latest information and stay on their toes in terms of design with their Google Design web page, but supposedly their new Material.io platform is better at performing this task. Through Material.io, Google has the means to directly recommend the best and freshest implementations and creative directions that designers can take at any given point.
With Gallery, designers can upload their work in progress and share it with whomever they choose to. This means they can include their whole team in the loop and let them see how the progress is going along. People checking out designs can also leave comments so there is a constant back and forward action, the kind of feedback that is required for a healthy group project. The whole platform is guaranteed by Google to be as safe as possible. A great advantage of this tool is the fact that it permits the sharing of your work in a simple manner.
If before designers were required to use services such as Google Drive or Dropbox in order to share their progress with their team, meaning they had to upload it an additional time, Gallery allows them to share it all through the form of a single web page link, and their team or collaborators will be able to experience the project as a simple presentation on which they can comment.
With Stages, designers are able to take a look inside an app in the early stages of their project’s development, granting them extra information to work with. Design in itself and how apps work at a core level go hand in hand, making Stages a great tool to have. Stages was the project of former Form and Pixate teams and also allows version management as well as executive control meaning that the project uploader can decide who is able to see his work and also what elements from what version of the program, as Gallery offers the ability to store multiple versions and store them to be used according to one’s necessity.
The last tool that Google included in the kit is called Remixer and it helps designers by providing a space where they can edit designs and manage design elements. This can be done from both computers and mobile devices, making it a flexible solution for on-the-go designers that need to tweak and perfect their work. Remixer is different than the other tools through the fact that it doesn’t require users to be part of the Material Early Access Google program.
Although these tools represent a kind of extension of Material Design and operate based on the philosophy behind it such as granting users the information necessary on how construct tabs and buttons while shading other elements and such, it must be noted that they have their own identity and in more way than one, they are different from Material Design. In fact, these tools are not even recommended for someone that wishes to work using Material Design.
While some of the new goodies might be limited to beta at the beginning, anyone interested in these new tools for building and improving their designs can visit Google’s new Material.io website and check them out personally and see which of them are able to further improve not only your design projects, but also your philosophical approach towards design.