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How to Design a Dark Theme Using Material (Google I/O'19)

Google Design2019-05-09
type: Conference Talk (Full production);#pr_pr: Google I/O#purpose: Educate
51K views|5 years ago
💫 Short Summary

Material design was introduced in 2014 to create consistent digital products with familiar interactions and spatial models. It aimed to unify applications but faced challenges in brand expression. Material theming was introduced in 2017 to address this, allowing for customized components for a branded experience. The importance of incorporating brand elements in UI design, particularly in dark themes, was emphasized for improved accessibility and readability. The video also discussed the process of creating a dark theme, highlighting the use of desaturated colors and preserving brand identity. Testing processes and contrast ratios were crucial to meet accessibility standards.

✨ Highlights
📊 Transcript
Introduction of Material Design in 2014.
Material design aimed to create consistent digital products with familiar interactions and spatial models.
Design choices focused on hierarchy, emphasis, and clear signals for users.
Material design unified applications across platforms but posed challenges in brand expression.
Material theming introduced in 2017 to allow for brand identity expression through customized UI components.
Importance of incorporating brand elements into UI design.
Development of a dark theme with the Android team to reduce screen luminescence and conserve battery life.
Benefits of dark theme for users with low visibility by meeting color contrast standards.
Emphasis on using color, contrast, depth, and desaturation in UI design to create visually appealing and energy-efficient dark theme.
Importance of using transparent overlays in UI design for expressing elevation levels.
Emphasis on creating contrast between surfaces and shadows to enhance legibility.
Highlight on utilizing color palettes, desaturated tones, and strategic color deployment in dark themes.
Impact of color choice on accessibility and readability, recommending avoidance of saturated colors in dark themes.
Explanation of the relationship between container color and on-surface color in applications, with examples of effective color combinations for different themes.
Importance of color contrast and accessibility standards in design.
Consideration of color combinations for visibility and legibility, especially in dark themes.
Adjusting color schemes impacts strategic approach to using color and requires changes in mappings to different components.
Emphasis on color relationships for text legibility and meeting WCAG's contrast ratio standards.
Preference for dark gray surfaces over black for expressing depth and reducing eye strain.
Importance of contrast ratios in design.
Extensive testing was conducted to determine the ideal contrast ratio of 15.8 to 1 between surface color and white text.
Desaturated primary color overlay on gray backgrounds was used to achieve a harmonious look.
Recommendations include testing text on various elevations for readability and meeting or exceeding AA contrast ratios.
The principles were applied to Owl, an educational app known for bold design choices in color, shape, and typography.
Creation of Dark Theme for UI Design
Focuses on the use of color, desaturation of primary colors, and preserving brand expression.
Less saturated versions of brand colors and new dark primary colors were created to meet accessibility standards and maintain brand identity.
Collaboration with Google teams resulted in the development of a widely adopted Google material theme, with a supplemental dark theme.
Gray backgrounds and desaturated primary colors were used to reduce contrast and improve visibility of elements like text and icons in the UI design.
Implementation of dark theme in Google Photos.
Dark gray background and desaturated colors were used to maintain consistency and preserve user experience.
New accent colors like red were introduced to enhance the design.
The photo team iterated on the design to create a virtual gallery feel.
Illustrations were carefully transitioned from light to dark theme without losing expression or storytelling capabilities.
Transitioning to a dark theme while maintaining artistic integrity.
Desaturated colors are important to prevent clashes with dark backgrounds.
Shifting colors to grayscale and adjusting tones to avoid stark contrasts.
Preserving communication elements and highlighting key points in illustrations.
User reliance on color in apps like Google Calendar and the systematic approach to desaturate user-generated colors for a cohesive visual experience.
Importance of adjusting saturation, brightness, and contrast for readability in light and dark themes.
Integration of user-generated colors with primary colors like desaturated blue from Google material palette.
Use of color in typography and interface design to enhance emphasis and hierarchy.
Design principles of Android Auto focusing on safety, larger touch targets, and interface simplification.
Strategic and functional use of color in design.
Development of Dark Theme Design for Android.
The team performed multiple tests to find the perfect shade of blue and added an elevation system with adjustments for better visibility on a black background.
The dark theme design focuses on three main elements: beginning with a dark color, maintaining adequate contrast between light and dark, and incorporating desaturated colors as accents.
Tools like a sketch sticker sheet and design lab were provided to assist in creating a dark theme for Android, specifically for Android Q and Android Studio developers.