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The Google Method is a podcast exploring the design stories behind Google products and the people who make them.

May 30, 2018

In this episode, Aidan Simpson interviews Material Design director Rich Fulcher about the evolution of design tools, the importance of flexibility in a design system, and what it means to design for users who are also designers and developers. Learn more about the journeys and creative decisions of designers at Google by subscribing to the Method podcast on Google Play, iTunes, RSS, or Spotify.

A few highlights:

On designing for designers and developers

"It's a little hard to get a feel for who your users are at the end of the day because you have layers of users. You have the other designers and developers who are going to utilize the system that you're producing. They're going to look at the guidance, they're going to look at the code that you're building, and they're going to use that to satisfy the needs of their users in turn. So that kind of hierarchy of users is always a tricky thing to kind of get one's mind around a little bit."

On the ever-evolving state of design

“We say this same saying many, many times on our team. We say, ‘design is never done,’  and I think we feel that in our hearts all of the time.”

On the challenges of building a design system

"I think some designers approach design systems as, 'Oh, they're making all my decisions for me—they're taking my authorship away. We very much don't think that way. We're trying to provide what we think of as a, a well lighted path of good decisions you can make."

Rich Fulcher is the director of Material Design. He worked with a multi-disciplinary group of designers, researchers, writers, and engineers to build the updated Material Design, which launched earlier this month at Google I/O.