Google Preparing “Material Design” For Google Calendar Web Version
Google is currently testing a new “Material Design” interface for the web version of Google Calendar. The interface redesign is important for Google Calendar addicts, but there are wider ramifications. This redesign is almost three years after Material Design first surfaced on our Android devices with the introduction of Android 5.0 Lollipop, and it might seem a little odd as to why Google might suddenly decide to update the web versions of core services. It can’t have taken three years to build the new interface… surely? Let’s take a look.
Material Design was first announced in June 2014. It’s based around the premise of producing a touchscreen interface that has a look and feel not dissimilar to paper, and was designed based on a paper and ink interface. According to Wikipedia the designer, Matías Duarte, said: “unlike real paper, our digital material can expand and reform intelligently. Material has physical surfaces and edges. Seams and shadows provide meaning about what you can touch.” Today, Google has plentiful online resources for app designers and as a result, Android today can have a much more joined up feeling between first and third party applications. Material Design has also been making its way to non-Android products and services, including the Chromebook, but so far the web forms of Gmail, Calendar and Contacts have resisted the change. This could be about to change, and it’s long overdue, but it certainly looks improved!
Why would Google decide in 2017 to apply Material Design to web versions of its core applications? The answer could be linked with how Chromebooks are gaining Android app compatibility. Although Android and Chrome OS are different platforms, they are sharing features and even applications, so it stands to reason that it’s in Google’s interest to make core Google services look and feel similar on the Chromebook compared with the Android platform. Currently, customers switching from an Android device to a Chromebook and using the Google Calendar have to adapt from the new layout to the old. Clearly, the web interface redesign is important for Google Calendar addicts, but this is part of wider changes.