Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites Get Material Design

Google announced the adoption of Material Design in its Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites G Suite applications on the web, a new product look and feel which will be turned on by default.

The changes will be enabled for all G Suite Basic, G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits users.

According to Google, with this designed change there will be absolutely no functionality changes and G Suite users will be able to notice a number of visual improvements, including:

  • Interface typography that uses Google’s custom-designed and highly-legible typefaces
  • Controls (like buttons, dialogs, and sidebars) that are updated and consistent
  • Iconography that is legible and crisp, with a fresh feel

Google’s Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites products which received a Material Design makeover with this update are not the only ones which share this common design language seeing that there are other G Suite apps such as Gmail and Calendar that already feature it.

Before and after
Before and after

As described by Google, the web implementation for Material Design is dubbed Polymer which is a union between the Polymer library and a “paper elements collection” which provides unthemed visual elements “to achieve material design app layouts, transitions, and scrolling effects.”

Moreover, the web adaptation of Material Design is called “Google Material Theme“:

We’ve built the Google Material Theme to express what makes Google uniquely Google. Details like the use of white space, the four Google colors, and our custom typeface, Google Sans, work together to convey a familiarity and trust to our users. Our theme gives Google apps a new, modern interface built with all the best practices of Material Design, but customized and adapted so that every part of the UI works together to serve that product’s function.

Similar visual improvements as the ones added today to Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites are to be expected across other G Suite applications in the near future according to Google.

The new Material Design-themes apps will be available starting on January 15, 2019, on a gradual rollout with up to 15 days for feature visibility for Rapid Release domains and starting on February 11, 2019, on a full rollout with up to 1-3 days for feature visibility for Scheduled Release domains.

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