Material You is Google’s very own theming engine that allows you to make its services your very own. A fun, variety of complementary colors that can be statically or dynamically set based on your wallpaper bring new life to the otherwise dull white or dark visuals that Google has worked toward for the past few years. Obviously, the intent was to strip these services of their highly specific color palettes and give them nonspecific, neutral theming so that they could be personalized down the road, and here we are.
We’ve seen the company’s Android apps fully embrace Material You over the past few months, but until now, there has been little in the way of this new design language coming to the web. Chrome has had a handful of “MY” tweaks, and the Google Play Store on the web is now locked and loaded to introduce it with its brand new redesign, but other than that, it’s been slow rolling.
Today, I was scrolling through Google Image search on my Pixel phone, searching for Kingdom Hearts content for my son (and for me!), and encountered a complete Material You overhaul as a part of the GIF search. Then, I realized that this extended all the way through the entire image search service! If you check out the video below, you’ll see that it looks quite stunning, and is fun and playful to navigate.
Swiping up through each result shows a different pastel color, and tapping the fullscreen button on a horizontal image carousel or expanding the smaller toggles found on single image listings reveals a full-blown colored backdrop for similar images. I came across red, green, yellow, and blue backdrops while I was toying with it, which are Google’s colors, of course.
My hope is that it’s not long before we see all of these great updates on Chromebooks and the desktop web, as they will breathe new life into the browsing experience across the board. These colors aren’t dynamic, by any means, but it’s a start. Differentiating between each result and segment is easier when you’re using completely different colors, so it’s a wecome change. Let me know in the comments what you think about this, and if you’d prefer a standard white or dark background based solely on your device theme. If so, would you be okay with a simple switch to turn this feature on and off? Let’s discuss!