Material Design · 2014
In 2014 Google announced Material Design, a unified design system for digital experiences. Top-tier Google products were required to adapt to the new system shortly after the announcement, which required a complete rethinking of layout, interactions, and implementation.
Prior to Material Design, Google Drive was inconsistent across iOS and Android platforms, both functionally and visually.
At the time, the Drive team was split between New York and Sydney, Australia, with iOS development happening in New York and Android development in Sydney (Note: this is not an ideal way to develop a product on multiple platforms). I designed in New York while a colleague designed in Sydney. We typically had an hour of overlap each day to touch base.
While this effectively gave us a 24-hour cycle to design, it also made collaboration extremely difficult. We developed a digital pinboard system using Google Drawings to post all of our work for feedback and to ensure all aspects of the product were consistent.
Throughout the design process, we met often with Google's Material Design leads for feedback and approvals.
The first release. We were initially required to use a grey heading color a bright red action button. I later pushed for a cleaner white and blue design (see below).
In a later release I successfully lobbied for a brighter, cleaner visual style.