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Google today updated its Material Design Guidelines, the living documentation of visual, interactive, and motion design guidance across its platforms and devices. At the same time, the company also launched a new color tool that aims to help developers create, share, and apply color to UI, including creating color palettes and testing accessibility.

Google’s Material Design mantra was first introduced at the company’s I/O conference in June 2014. The document, which has been updated every few months, is meant to guide, as well as support and inspire, user interfaces for productivity.

More specifically, the updates this month are as follows (historical changelog):

The color tool deserves a little bit more, err, color. You can use it to create, share, and apply color palettes to a sample UI and through components in codepen. You can also use it to evaluate the legibility of text for any color combination.

Diving in a bit deeper, Google wants to highlight three features:

  • Create color schemes that include darker and lighter variations of your primary and secondary colors.
  • Check if text is accessible on different-colored backgrounds, as measured using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines legibility standards.
  • Preview the look of your color scheme across a range of Material Design Components, with editable HTML, CSS, or JavaScript in Codepen.

Google hopes these improvements will allow developers and designers to provide users with “a richer experience” across everything from Android to Chrome OS to the web. We should also expect Google’s own apps and services to get more color.


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