AMA: I'm Matias Duarte, a VP of Design at Google!

almost 9 years ago from Matias Duarte, VP Design, Google

  • Raveesh BhallaRaveesh Bhalla, almost 9 years ago

    Hey Matias,

    Thanks so much for doing this! I'm a Google Expert for Design/UX, and had a question on a topic I'm researching currently:

    Material Design is probably the largest design project you've taken on in your professional career based on the sheer volume of users it is intended for (which is in billions). And it gets even more complicated considering it's a design language that other services would need to adopt, and its cross platform.

    What kind of user studies did you do? How widescale was it, and how diverse were your focus groups? I'm particularly interested in how much your focus was on users from developing countries, where the Android user base in a pure numbers form is insane and only going to get bigger.

    3 points
    • Matias DuarteMatias Duarte, almost 9 years ago

      Much like the Material Design effort itself involved basically every design team inside Google, we approached research - both the formative, and validation - as something that we needed to do together and that we couldn’t centralize.

      There were lots of specific studies that we ran from the core team - mostly to validate the usability of certain controls or conventions - like the toggles and the FAB, and with a strong focus on accessibility.

      We also leveraged every study from every team implementing Material - piggybacking additional questions where it seemed appropriate - to validate the use of Material in context.

      We also run a large amount of foundational research to help us understand device use, and for the last few years that effort has been international with a particular focus on developing countries. That’s not to say developing an international design system is not daunting. We actually had some goofs in the original spec for dialogs that didn’t provide enough cues for what’s actionable in certain locales - that’s why in addition to usability we also worked with i18n experts and specialists from different markets.

      4 points