When we turn Abre on for districts we often hear “Hey, this looks like Google. Cool. Can you do that?”


Google encourages the use of the design framework called Material Design. Abre embraces Material Design in our user interfaces (UI) and user experiences (UX). This makes our design process faster, easier, and frictionless for our stakeholders.

What is Material Design?

Google released Material Design back in 2014. It quickly joined the ranks of other popular design frameworks such as:

Design frameworks provide standardized elements for components on a website. Take the simple component of a button. Rather than write some fancy CSS unique to my project, I simply insert class=“mdc-button” into my code (I know I’m going a bit geeky here, but it makes life a lot easier).

Material Design is inspired by paper. Its texture takes cues from stacking paper on a flat surface. Actions follow best practices.

Why We Like Material Design

Many school districts use Google products. Chromebooks, Google Docs, Google Classroom. All follow Material Design with their UI/UX. By building our product on Material Design, we lower the cognitive friction in entering our platform.

Users just get it.

This helps when districts host App-a-thons. Students quickly understand the rules behind wireframing their own Abre Apps.

Aside from the practical reason, we also admire the philosophy behind Material Design. It’s open-source (which we always love) and has a large community of designers and developers contributing to the project. We also love the fact that the framework emphasizes user accessibility with an eye towards assistive technology.

Want to Learn More?

Check out https://material.io with its comprehensive guides and resources.