Dezeen Magazine

Phones displaying Google's Material You design language

Google's Material You design language enables more personal interfaces

Google will add a colourful "new set of capabilities" to its digital interfaces, allowing users to further personalise visuals on their phone and tablet screens.

The Material You system is an updated version of Google's Material Design language, which the tech giant has applied to its user interfaces since 2014.

Material You by Google
Google's Material You system has evolved from its current Material Design language

The new design system will become available on all devices that run on Android 12, to be released this autumn, including the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

Material You will maintain Material Design's distinctive visual appearance that prioritises simplicity and white space, but with added personal touches.

Personal touches are crucial to the design
The system will allow users to add personal photos and custom colour palettes to their Android device screens

"Material You is a new set of capabilities that allows our design language, Material Design, to be personal, accessible, alive, and adaptive," Google design manager Philip Battin told Dezeen.

Material You will allow users the option to tailor their screens to meet individual needs and tastes, adapting the interface's blocky shapes depending on their preferences.

Users will have control of the contrast, size and line width of icons, as well as the ability to add personal images and create a unique colour palette.

Blocky shapes make up Material You
A set of blocky icons will be adjustable in size, line width and contrast

"We've always taken a more seasonal approach to colour inspired by the culture and things we surround ourselves with," said Battin. "With Material You, we're completing this colour story by approaching the design of interfaces in the very same way."

"By mixing this study of colour with Google's knowledge of interaction design and engineering, we're making it possible to tailor any app – not just Google's – to each individual's unique material palette in real time," he added.

Users will be able to adapt width sizes
Users will be able to adjust the size and layout of app icons and other visual features

Battin also explained why personalisation is an important aspect of Material You.

"We in tech tend to forget the emotional side of design," he said. "Over the past year, we've spent a lot of time looking at our screens and have had a lot of time to reimagine what that experience should feel like. We deserve to get a bit more joy from them. Express a bit more of our personality."

"We realised that design is personal, and to deliver on that, we needed to give the people using our products control over co-creating that experience," Battin added.

Material You will have a variety of colour palettes
Google intends to bring more "joy" and "personality" to device users

Battin is a Danish designer and current head of Google Seed Studio, which provides creative direction across the company's product offering.

Google recently opened its first physical retail space in New York, and created an AI-enabled video-conferencing kit for optimised virtual meetings.

The imagery is courtesy of Google.