Google’s Wonder Paper

Suzanne LaBarre at Co.Design:

Apple's skeuomorphism was a shorthand reference to the material world to make the digital world more approachable. Google's wonder paper also makes their interface more approachable. But it's not just an allusion to our physical world. It's more an explanation of what is happening when windows suddenly appear or disappear behind our screens. It's as if Google is reverse engineering magic tricks the industry has used for years to render interface, showing us the strings so that these animations make sense. If they're not attempting to write the language of interface, they're certainly trying to understand it in order to push the discourse forward.

"Google’s Wonder Paper" sounds like some new competition for Charmin.

I’m picking up on some bias in the article. Google isn’t making paper magically delicious. They are taking flat design to a whole new level for them. Their products are getting a decent design surgery.

"Material design" is flat design + smooth animated transitions. That’s all. Sesame Street was animating cartoons out of construction paper in the eighties with a similar look.

It’s strange Suzanne referenced Apple’s skeuomorphism rather than comparing Google’s material design to it’s contemporary competition: Apple’s flat design of iOS 7 and OS X Yosemite. Of course material design looks great when compared to something busy and dated.


Joe Darnell

Joe is a UI and graphic designer with prior experience as the creative director for three media-based businesses. Joe’s passionate about web design and graphic design with about 15 years of experience in the media industry. Additionally, Joe is the host of the Top Brew and Techtonic podasts, both featured on iTunes.