I’m Scott Weiss, SwiftKey’s VP of Design, and I wanted to tell you about a couple of great new themes that are available today. Following last week’s release of two graphical and fun Halloween themes, we’re debuting two themes this week of a new family inspired by Google’s Material Design guidelines. Here’s a snippet from Google’s introduction:
“The material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic… Surfaces and edges of the material provide visual cues that are grounded in reality… the flexibility of the material creates new affordances that supercede those in the physical world, without breaking the rules of physics.”
We designed these Material Design themes, Material Dark and Material Light, in the spirit of the upcoming Android L keyboard, but with our own unique SwiftKey touch.
SwiftKey Keyboard for Android features secondary characters available on long press for each key. For example, the QWERTY row features ‘0’ – ‘9’ and the ASDF row features “@#&*”. We show the secondary characters in a subtle yet readable way. Keys are surrounded by the faintest of key boundaries, marking the tactile edges of the touch area.
The number pad is another great feature of SwiftKey Keyboard for Android, which we brought out with bright outlines to make it easier for people entering phone numbers, addresses, and even IP addresses. We kept the color distribution quite simple: a plain background with a contrasting color for the top prediction, function keys, and matching flow trail. We also pop the punctuation slider that appears on press of the period (‘.’) key with bright tones of each theme’s hero color.
This theme family is distinctly different from Minimal, which is very popular with SwiftKey users. We wanted to appeal to Minimal users who like simplicity, but also to add in the handy secondary characters and contrasting number pad, as well as surprising touches of bold color.
If you haven’t already, download SwiftKey Keyboard for Android from Google Play, and check out the new themes in the SwiftKey Store.
We hope you like the new themes, and we’re hard at work on introducing new ones soon. We’d really like your input too: tweet color requests with hashtags #swiftkey #material and we’ll try them out as we design themes for this new family.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Scott and the Design Team