Matias Duarte Overview Updated June 28, 2016

Matias Duarte

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Seven 'Matias Duarte' stories

October 2011 - April 2015


Matias Duarte is an awesome designer at Google.

Matias Duarte Stories April 28, 2015

Google’s head of design, Matias Duarte, recently gave an interview at the Bloomberg Businessweek Design 2015 conference during which he discussed the future of wearables. Duarte, who was wearing an Android Wear device during the interview, compared smartwatches to a variety of other inventions throughout history that have been welcomed by many, but not required.

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Matias Duarte Stories June 27, 2014

After an interview this morning on how Google came up with idea for Material Design, Google vice president of design Matias Duarte sat down with The Verge for another interview. In the talk, Duarte discussed a variety of things that Google set out to achieve with Android “L” and the Material design aspect of it.

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Matias Duarte Stories June 13, 2012

Ice Cream Sandwich awarded best platform at Parsons User Experience Awards

As noted by BGR, Google’s own Matias Duarte announced on his Google+ page that Android, specifically Ice Cream Sandwich, has been awarded the Gold Prize for best platform at the Parsons School of Design’s 2012 User Experience Awards:

Ice Cream Sandwich won the Gold Prize for best platform experience at Parsons’ 2012 User Experience Awards! Way to go team!

Thanks to Parsons for hosting a great event and thanks to IXDA, NYC UPA, and NYC CHI. We need more celebrations of UX like this!

Matias Duarte Stories November 16, 2011

Following a lengthy interview in October where he gave us insight into the future of Android and Google’s view on iOS and Windows, Android’s head of user experience Matias Duarte sat down with The Verge to discuss his work on Android and more specifically, Ice Cream Sandwich. During the interview Duarte elaborated on his competitor’s design choices, where he says iOS looks cartoonish and explains if it were “put on a website or magazine, you’d laugh at it, it would look childish”. Host Joshua Topolsky also calls him out for saying Windows Phone looks like “bathroom signage in an airport”, to which he didn’t comment.

Matias gave a few demos using a Galaxy Nexus, including one of live video chat effects like blurs and warps that alter your face in real-time. He also explained his view on photography features calling traditional features of point and shoot cameras such as white balance “crap”, saying “if it’s not immediately obvious, it’s something the machine should be taking care of for you”.

Duarte also defended Google’s choice to create the new Roboto font for ICS, which he also recently explained in a blog post, as well as addressed the controversy of ICS’s Face Unlock feature (which was recently tricked using a photo). expand full story

Matias Duarte Stories November 9, 2011

Curious about some of the details in why Google switched to their new Roboto type face in Ice Cream Sandwich? Matias Duarte, Android director, took to Google+ this evening to explain it in great detail. Switching from Droid type face to Roboto type face was mainly due in part to the higher pixel density screens, Matias explained. As screens get bigger, and more pixel dense, certain font schemes can lose their luster.

The other big part of the new type face was also due in part to the design strides Google is trying to make with Ice Cream Sandwich. You’ll notice in screenshots that fonts are much more crisp and tie in better with the rest of the UI.

The Android team is devoting themselves to continue working on the font, and the overall UI. We can’t wait to check it when we get our hands on the Nexus Prime in a few weeks.

Matias Duarte Stories October 19, 2011

Image courtesy of The Verge

Following a slew of announcements from Google yesterday culminating with the unveiling of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the accompanying software development kit, Android Beam, the new People app, the panoramic camera feature and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone (among other things), The Verge has published an exclusive, lengthy interview with Android’s head of user experience Matias Duarte. It’s a highly recommended read with revealing details and interesting insider perspective on Google’s arguably the most propulsive property.

Some of the more noteworthy highlights:

Android Honeycomb, which was Duarte’s first big Google project following his departure from Palm after the company was acquired by HP, was a lot like “emergency landing”, he said.  It’s a platform which has “a flexibility designed into it that you don’t have to worry about when you’re doing a completely integrated device”. And why Google refused to open-source Honeycomb? “On Honeycomb we cheated, we cut the corner of all that smaller device support”, adding this:

Honeycomb was like: we need to get tablet support out there. We need to build not just the product, but even more than the product, the building blocks so that people stop doing silly things like taking a phone UI and stretching it out to a 10-inch tablet.

People are fed up with “two decades of windows, and cursors, and little folder icons”, he says. The search company actually visited “shadow” users at their homes and workplaces to figure out how they interacted with mobile devices. What they found out was surprising: Android lacked emotional connection with its users who deemed the operating system overly complex. So they set out to build a wonderland of sorts, improving on Android’s typography by creating in-house a clean typeface for Ice Cream Sandwich dubbed Roboto. He then took a jab at Apple, calling the iOS design “juvenile” and likening it to web pages with “cartoony things hanging off a page”.

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