I/O 2017: Our Definitive Guide to Design

Bryn Smith
Google Design
Published in
5 min readMay 16, 2017


Welcome to Google Design’s #io17 coverage. Our second annual designer’s guide is your one-stop resource for design programming during Google I/O. Below you’ll find hand-picked talks, office hours for in-person design reviews, and information on Material CodeLabs for Android, iOS, and the web. We’ll add more links and videos as they become available — stay tuned.

Quick Links:

Design Schedule

Wednesday, May 17

Please note, all listings Pacific Time.

Thursday, May 18

  • 11:30 AM–12:30 PM Creating UX That ‘Just Feels Right’ With Progressive Web Apps
    On mobile, a seamless user experience can be the difference between success or failure. This talk covers the secrets to creating UX on the web that just feels right in the way users have come to expect. See real world examples and learn the UX principles behind slick transitions, handling network failures, increasing conversions, and more. Speakers: Owen Campbell-Moore
    Stage 2
  • 3:30–4:30 PM Finding the Right Voice Interactions for Your App
    Imagine trying to read a website through a straw—mentally processing an audio signal feels a lot like that. As advancements in conversational UIs and artificial intelligence enable users in new ways, it’s tempting to take an existing visual-based app or GUI and simply ‘convert it to voice.’ While voice brings the potential for speed and simplicity, hands-free experiences can easily become overly complicated when based on another mode of interaction. Get the scoop on what types of use cases transfer well to voice interactions and why. Speakers: Daniel Padgett
    Stage 5
  • 6:30–7:30 PM Using Design Sprints to Increase Cross-Functional Collaboration
    The Design Sprint framework is applied widely across Google, from the teams who work on Machine Intelligence, to Search, Maps, and many other product areas. In this panel discussion, hear from six Sprint Masters on how to inject speed and innovation into the product development process. Speakers: Kai Haley, Burgan Shealy, Ratna Desai, Jenny Gove, Josh Lovejoy, Sumier Phalake
    Stage 7

Friday, May 19

  • 8:30–9:30 AM Prototyping to Production: Bridging the Gap with a Common Tool
    Design and engineering collaboration is difficult but vital for iterative user-centered product development. Join us (a designer and UI developer) as we use the Flutter UI framework to evolve a UI concept from prototype to production code, and leave with a deeper understanding of how to bridge the gap between designers and developers. Speakers: Fiona Yeung, David Yang
    Stage 4
  • 9:30–10:30 AM How Words Can Make Your Product Stand Out
    People encounter a lot of high-quality, visually compelling apps. So what can you do to make sure they connect with yours? This is where content strategy comes in. We’ll share how you can use words to create a clear brand voice and unify your user experience. The talk will include case studies from Google UX writers, as well as writing principles you can apply to your own product. Speakers: Maggie Stanphill, Allison Rung, Juliana Appenrodt
    Stage 4
  • 11:30 AM–12:30 PM Designing Screen Interfaces for VR
    When we think of VR, our minds naturally gravitate towards three-dimensional environments and interactions. But, there are times when it’s necessary to present content in a two-dimensional way. With VR, we have the opportunity to reevaluate the nature of screens, and how we view and interact with screen-based content. This talk will cover techniques the Daydream team uses to create legible, usable screen interfaces in VR. Speakers: Chris McKenzie, Adam Glazier
    Stage 4
  • 12:30–1:30 PM Notifications UX: What’s New for Android O
    Android’s notification system evolves with each release to better serve users. This year is no exception. Join members of the Android UX team to learn more about upcoming changes to notifications in the final release of Android O, the research that informed them, and what it means for app designers. Speakers: Rachel Garb, Julie Aranda, Justin Barber
  • 2:30–3:30 PM Project Magenta: Music and Art with Machine Learning
    Google Brain researcher Douglas Eck will discuss Magenta, a project using TensorFlow to generate art and music with deep nets and reinforcement learning (and how artists and musicians fit in to the effort). We’ll dive into some of the technical details and challenges faced in building generative models, but no machine learning experience is required to follow the session. Speakers: Douglas Eck
    Stage 3

App Design Reviews

Swing by the Design Sandbox for one-on-one design reviews and feedback on your app from the Material Design team. Reviews are reservable on a first-come, first-served basis so be sure to sign up early! To reserve a spot, stop by our dome at the beginning of each day. We’re located in Dome E.

Wednesday, May 17: 11:30 AM–7:30 PM
Thursday, May 18: 8:30 AM–8:00 PM
Friday, May 19: 8:30 AM–4:00 PM

Dimensions Showcase

While you wait for your design review, get inspired by a series of app demos created during the Dimensions Sprint. Designed to push the boundaries of mobile experience and the Android platform, the three-day sprint asked designers from companies such as Airbnb, eBay, PocketCast, Adobe, and Local Projects to build apps using the full suite of Material Design resources. The projects also highlight unique Android features like Nearby, Inter-app Sharing, and Android Things.

Visit the Dimensions Showcase in Dome E, or the Dimensions site for highlights from all the projects—including detailed specs on which tools and components were used to build each app.

Material Components CodeLabs

Making Material just got easier. Material Components is a library of UI components and expanded documentation that let you build easily for Android, iOS, and the web using open-source code. During I/O, visit any of our workstations for a guided, hands-on tutorial designed to showcase how Material Components can make an app or website more functional and beautiful—while also saving engineering time. If you’re reading this from home, you can try codelabs online:

Material Components Office Hours

Want help integrating Material Components into your Android, iOS, or web product? Come chat with our cross-platform experts during office hours:

Wednesday, May 17: 4:00–5:00 PM
Thursday, May 18: 11:30 AM–12:30 PM

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