Google is about to get its own ‘Metro' with Quantum Paper

Leak showing Quantum Paper design for Gmail

Google is looking to establish a common design language across of all its applications and will also look to help third-party developers adapt its new look as well. This initiative is called Quantum Paper and we will likely see it unveiled at Google’s upcoming I/O conference that kicks off later this month.

The idea is pretty simple, Google wants the same look and feel for its services no matter what operating system you are using. So that means Android and iOS apps will have the same look to them and even web applications will follow the design characteristics.

Quantum Paper will introduce new visual elements, interaction elements and even new buttons. Geek.com recently got its hands on a new Gmail layout that the company is testing and this is reportedly part of the Quantum paper design language.

If you are thinking that a common design language across every OS and every app sounds familiar, it’s because Microsoft has done the same thing with its ‘metro’ design language. While it is now referred to as ‘modern’, metro was the root of the flat movement that every company, including Apple, has now adopted.

Google’s Quantum Paper design will be a step in the right direction for the company as a consistent UI experience on any platform is win for the consumer.

With Google I/O kicking off June 25th, we won’t have to wait too long to see what the company has been working on and how Quantum Paper will fit into the company’s next generation of Android and other services.

Source: Android Police | Image Credit: Geek.com

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Very well written Brad.
One thing is the minimalistic design that had been used like forever, and another thing is the clear Metro design inspiration that you're seeing everywhere. Metro is not just flat everything. Credit where credit is due.

I was wondering that myself. Metro/Modern is a Swiss inspired typography heavy design language that puts more focus on content instead of graphics and chrome, and what Google is presenting doesn't follow it...at all...

Im all for a nice design but I just hope we are not left with a 'one size fits all' solution for future OS and application UI. I like having preferences and options but lately a minimalistic design means no other options, not even options hidden under the hood.

Kalint said,
Yeah I really gotta hand it to Microsoft! Who else would've thought to use a single background color!

Hehe. I am assuming this is sarcastic. But what you fail to see is that its not just flat design. Its a unified metro look within ALL of their apps and GUIs and everything. Microsoft is pushing the way forward for that. And THAT push is what is leading the way. So, although you were kinda funny, your comment missed the actual innovation or leap forward in how apps work and the appeal they have =).

Scabrat said,

Hehe. I am assuming this is sarcastic. But what you fail to see is that its not just flat design. Its a unified metro look within ALL of their apps and GUIs and everything. Microsoft is pushing the way forward for that. And THAT push is what is leading the way. So, although you were kinda funny, your comment missed the actual innovation or leap forward in how apps work and the appeal they have =).

http://static.dramastyle.com/i...0/7697/Idiocracy_7697_7.jpg

It certainly is the future!

What does that picture have to do with anything ? Are you blind and somehow implying that you think it looks anything like Metro ?

" While it is now referred to as ‘modern', metro was the root of the flat movement that every company, including Apple, has now adopted."

Flat design has been around forever.. but more recently it was taken up in the web industry way before Windows 8. It's been creeping in for a very long time now, it was a general design shift. Metro wasn't the root of anything.

The launch of Windows Phone 7 was prety much the re-introduction of flat-design. Starting that day, we start to see more and more flat design all over the place. Just the same as we saw a lot of glass-based interfaces with Windows Vista. And a lot blurred/glass-interfaces with the launch of Windows 7. Microsoft has a serious big influence on the design a lot of companies and people use. The flat design trend has been kicked of by Microsoft, the trend before that too.

Don't forget Zune and even WMC before it.

All the anti MS zealots can argue this all they want. Sure the occasional app may have had a flat design before WP and some wannabe designers on dribbble threw around some ideas. But it doesn't change the fact that MS was the first ones to create one unified flat design language for an entire OS and then all their OS' and services.

HawkMan said,
Don't forget Zune and even WMC before it.

All the anti MS zealots can argue this all they want. Sure the occasional app may have had a flat design before WP and some wannabe designers on dribbble threw around some ideas. But it doesn't change the fact that MS was the first ones to create one unified flat design language for an entire OS and then all their OS' and services.

Don't you mean a bunch of professional designers on dribbble threw around a lot of ideas? Because that's what dribbble is. A site started by a guy who has been preaching simple and clean design for three decades now, even publishing books about it, and he's had all of his friends that have done work for companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook...etc... join it.

You seriously tried to take a jab at the anti MS zealots by fabricating your own facts to make Microsoft look better. Good job!

benthebear said,

Don't you mean a bunch of professional designers on dribbble threw around a lot of ideas? Because that's what dribbble is. A site started by a guy who has been preaching simple and clean design for three decades now, even publishing books about it, and he's had all of his friends that have done work for companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook...etc... join it.

You seriously tried to take a jab at the anti MS zealots by fabricating your own facts to make Microsoft look better. Good job!

Well said, Microsoft actually use Dribbble to advertise jobs and look for designers, the guys behind Dribbble are the most talented in the industry who, as you say have been promoting these ideas for a very long time... I'm not going to deny Microsoft has a major influence on design standards but to say Microsoft introduced 'flat' and everyone else followed suit is laughable.

None of that changes the facts of my post. Dribble is still a "playground", if you understand what the term means, and MS was first to widely adopt a flat simplified design language.

I'm starting to quite hate that everything flat is called metro inspired. Flat design has been used from ages. Maybe metro somewhat popularized again (And Im reluctant of this) but certain apps and desktops used it before it.

To say that "Metro" inspired is stupid. Minimalism was popping all over Dribbble way before Microsoft start messing with what they call it "metro". The tech community is seriously way over their heads with all these UI/UX debates.

Mr.XXIV said,
To say that "Metro" inspired is stupid. Minimalism was popping all over Dribbble way before Microsoft start messing with what they call it "metro". The tech community is seriously way over their heads with all these UI/UX debates.


This is true. I think they are more or less comparing it to Microsoft when it comes to "Common Design"....

While you are correct, MS did not invent the Metro/Modern/Flat, but they seem to have made it 'kewl' again.
Now everyone wants their products to look the same across all of it's products.

I think that is the comparison, not so much as the design, but everyone wanting design across all products to look the same.

Android/Chromebooks will now look the same
MacBooks/iMacs/iOS will now look the same GUI
Windows PC's/Tablets/phones will look the same...

I guess it's to give people a sense of, "I truly have everything with me" and also takes away the learning curve altogether on using different devices.

Mr.XXIV said,
To say that "Metro" inspired is stupid. Minimalism was popping all over Dribbble way before Microsoft start messing with what they call it "metro". The tech community is seriously way over their heads with all these UI/UX debates.

This!

If you want to know where UI/UX design will be in a couple of years, all you have to do is head over to dribbble. A lot of the design trends that are out now started poping up on dribbble in 2010. I mean, the guys that are working on this stuff at major companies have been sharing their ideas for years. Flat, circular profile photos, you name it. Dribbble.

Showan said,

Android/Chromebooks will now look the same
MacBooks/iMacs/iOS will now look the same GUI
Windows PC's/Tablets/phones will look the same...

Wrong.

All google services will look alike across iOS/OSX,Android/ChromeOS,Windows.
et al.

Never. There's always "freedom" and "creativity", a.k.a I don't want to follow the UI guideline for Windows/iOS/Android when I develop for multiple platform and would rather reuse everything.

Back to future at last! who would have thought a consistent UI and styleguide for your services and software would be a big change in 2014!

yekGLzhQ4Qju1FtAVcC4 said,
flat = metro now

It's not about everything flat equal to metro, although they started the trend. It's the fact that they started the unified design language and this expanded everywhere. Give credit where credit is due.

nickcruz said,

It's not about everything flat equal to metro, although they started the trend. It's the fact that they started the unified design language and this expanded everywhere. Give credit where credit is due.

"Unified design language," is a bit redundant because design languages ensure a consistent and unified design through out. And no, Microsoft didn't start it.