What “Beta” Means for Material Design Guidance

Adrian Secord
Nov 14, 2019 · 3 min read

Material is now marking some design guidance as beta — learn why and what it means for the design system

Image by the amazing Michelle Alvarez, Google Senior Visual Designer

We recently began labeling aspects of our design guidance as “beta” on material.io. What does that mean? We’re being more transparent about which components, patterns, and elements are likely to evolve in the near term.

The background on Material beta

What beta means on material.io

  1. It hasn’t been fully engineered on enough of our platforms. Implementing new guidance on different platforms is an important part of finalizing the design. Material supports four platforms: Android, Flutter, iOS, and the web. Implementing a new component on one platform is a first step, but we want to address any concerns that come up as we implement across our other platforms. For example, does this pattern work well using iOS’ particular navigation gestures? How about on the web when the user scales up the text size on the page? Although our designers consider multiple platforms, until we’ve implemented a new UI pattern widely, it’s difficult to anticipate what issues might come up.
  2. The underlying concept is still emerging. For example, machine learning is clearly changing the world but design best practices are still taking shape. Our patterns for machine learning-powered features are a first attempt at helping designers grapple with certain use cases and situations. However, given the newness of machine learning in user interfaces, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the landscape is changing rapidly and our guidance might need significant updates to continue to work well.

How Material guidance graduates from beta

As of November 2019, here are the components, design elements, and UI patterns in beta:

What do you think?

Google Design

Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google

Google Design

Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google. For editorial content and more visit design.google

Adrian Secord

Written by

Engineer, recovered academic, learning to be uncomfortable.

Google Design

Stories by Googlers on the people, product, and practice of UX at Google. For editorial content and more visit design.google