Categories: Android / Developers / Mobile Apps
There’s more to mobile app development than functionality. The way an app looks can take a look from mid-tier to top of the App Store. Not only that, but apps that take the time to get design right are way more likely to meet accessibility guidelines. According to Google, one area that app developers need to work on is color.
Google welcomes color palettes to mobile app developmentA while back, Google launched Material Design. Material Design is a design language that uses card-like layers and elements to create a hierarchy of meaning. The aim is to create a coherent language to guide designers in crafting everything from basic layouts through to animations and transitions.
Now Google has added color to the list. Its new color picking tool offers a series of one-click color palettes that designers can preview when developing an app. An “accessibility” tab also lets you evaluate the legibility of your font type and color when applied against your primary and secondary color palettes.
Getting color right matters now more than ever
There’s a reason that color is making a comeback in design best practices. The trend towards flat and material design means color plays a significant role in defining elements and creating contrast. The gradients, shadows and moving elements that used to help create differentiation are far less common. And while elements such as scale, spacing and grids all help, none of these offer the visual punch that color does.
Color helps the eye navigate around an app. And as noted earlier, it can have an impact on accessibility. Color contrast – especially in relation to text – is key for people with low vision or with color processing deficiencies. Low contrast means that your app may not meet accessibility guidelines. As a result it may prevent people with disabilities from being able to use your app. And with apps increasingly featuring in essential daily activities such as health, education and banking, accessibility isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s a must.
So what makes for good color use?
Good mobile app development is user-focused. This means that every element is created with the user in mind. Color is no different. It should be used to help your users understand and interact with your app.
For example, a primary color is widely used across all screens and forms the main visual identity of your app. To indicate related information or activity, use a complementary secondary color. To highlight interactive elements, use an accent color. Text color, size and contrast is also essential to ensure legibility.
There’s an art to getting an app’s color scheme just right, but fortunately Google has helped to get it down to a science. Thanks to its new color tool, it’s becoming easier than ever to make the color wheel work for you – and to meet accessibility guidelines as well.