I/O 2016: Our Definitive Guide to Design

Bryn Smith
May 18, 2016 · 5 min read

Welcome to Google Design’s #io16 coverage. Whether you’re attending live or livestreaming, this is the place for all your design programming at I/O. Below you’ll find hand-picked event highlights, office hours for in-person design reviews, and updates to our material design guidelines. We’ll be adding links and videos as they become available — stay tuned.

Quick Links:

Design Schedule

Wednesday, May 18

Please note, all listings Pacific Time.

  • 3:00–4:00 PM How Design Sprints are Flexing for Success
    Learn how three teams across Google are flexing the Design Sprint methodology to improve collaboration between UX, developers, and product designers. Speakers: Kai Haley
    Stage 6, Virgo
  • 6:00–7:00 PM Discover the Expanded Material Design Motion Guidelines
    Motion plays a key role in bringing material design to life. Join Material Motion Lead John Schlemmer, as he discusses new design guidance and shares his approach to motion on apps like Google Calendar and Inbox by Gmail. Speakers: John Schlemmer
    Stage 5, Libra

Thursday, May 19

  • 10:00–11:00 AM Learning to Speak Designer
    To collaborate successfully, you first have to be able to speak a common language. Tailored to non-designers, this talk will cover foundational design principles, explain their importance, and define essential terminology for each. Speakers: Rich Fulcher, Rob Giampietro
    Stage 5, Libra
  • 1:00–2:00 PM Material Improvements
    A look at material design’s fundamental principles of tangibility, bold graphic design and meaningful motion. Speakers: Nick Butcher
    Stage 5, Libra
  • 3:00–4:00 PM “I’m Just Trying to Survive” — Ethnographic Research on Notifications and Attention Management
    The Android notifications product, engineering, and user experience teams recently conducted an immersive ethnographic study in New York City to better understand how people manage their attention in their daily lives, and how smartphone notifications play a role in that process. Does your app send notifications to users? Come to our talk to learn: what people want to know, when they want to know it, and how information should be presented to be actionable and effective.
    Speakers: Noor Ali-Hasan, Julie Aranda, Safia Baig
    Stage 8, Crater
  • 4:00–5:00 PM Know and Grow Your Users in Emerging Markets
    Testing your product through the dev and product cycle in Emerging Markets can be a whole new beast. Get a quick introduction to Emerging Markets contexts, learn the basics to keep in mind when developing products for Emerging Markets, and leave with a nifty toolkit that can help you test your product no matter where you are in the world. Speakers: Nibha Jain, Nithya Sambasivan
    Stage 6, Virgo
  • 5:00–6:00 PM Machine Learning & Art
    Neural networks are incredible tools allowing us not just to analyze but also manipulate and generate images, movies and music. Over the last 18 months, the Lab at the Cultural Institute has invited artists and creative technologists to explore ways to apply machine learning to culture and the arts. We’ll present some of our results with some onstage technical demos and a few special guests.
    Speakers: Damien Henry, Cyril Diagne, Mario Klingemann
    Stage 5, Libra
Robinhood won the Google Play award for best use of material design.

Friday, May 20

  • 1:00–2:00 PM Design Fireside Chat
    If you’re a developer working with a designer, this conversation with design leaders from Google will address some of the issues you may face in the workplace. If you’re a designer or product person, you’ll come away with an insider’s view on how teams collaborate at Google. Speakers: Mike Denny, Nicholas Jitkoff, Katherine Walker,
    Marta Rey-Babarro

    Stage 5, Libra
  • 1:00–2:00 PM VR in the Classroom: Early lessons learned from
    Google Expeditions

    Virtual reality has the potential to change how we teach and how we learn. But how do we leverage VR’s potential to actually transform learning? The Google Expeditions team will share what they’ve learned about making compelling VR apps for the classroom.
    Speakers: Ben Schrom, Jennifer Holland
  • 3:00–4:00 PM Designer and Developer Communication
    Join a conversation with Google designers and engineers as they share tricks they’ve discovered to successfully communicate and implement visual and motion design for dozens of Google products.
    Speakers: Shona Dutta, Kirill Grouchnikov, John Schlemmer,
    Mark Wei

    Stage 5, Libra

App Design Reviews

Stop by the I/O Sandbox for in-person design reviews with the material design team. The reviews are first-come, first-serve, and each review station will be equipped with a large timer so passers-by can decide when to queue for the next review. We’re located in the Material Design Sandbox, Zone A, right next to Accessibility.

Wednesday, May 18: 12:00–7:00 PM
Thursday, May 19: 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
Friday, May 20: 9:00 AM–4:00 PM

Material Design Guidelines

In addition to programming, we have a number of updates to the Material Design Guidelines launching during I/O. We’ll post updates below, so hit refresh and check back often for the latest.

Material design for wearables

Android Wear is a lightweight interface that connects to the user’s body and provides the wearer with the right information at the right time. Wear makes it easy for users to be more connected to both the online and real worlds by making interactions available at a glance. By placing the most important information in a small, accessible space, users may complete tasks quickly. Check out the material design for wearables guidelines.


Material design lives in a world that’s a lot like ours — one that’s responsive, natural, aware, and intentional. The newly expanded material design motion guidelines can help you produce motion that feels natural, while delivering a clear and cohesive experience for your users. Get to know how things move!

Communicating with your users

Want to convey important features and a good design experience for everyone who uses your product? The growth and communications guidelines contain best practices and components to help users quickly and intuitively understand what they can do with your app, including onboarding and feature discovery to help improve engagement and retention.

You can always follow our design coverage on Twitter, Facebook, and G+.

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