UI design is getting interesting again

Delightful styles find their way back into the mainstream

Michal Malewicz
4 min readFeb 28, 2024


Atoms app by James Clear
Atoms — new app from James Clear

James Clear has just released his first app — a habit tracker called Atoms.

While the app category was pretty obvious for a person best known about making habits stick, there is something else here that’s way more interesting.

The design hole

In 2014, to unify the way people design Android apps Google announced Material Design.

The idea was rooted in efficiency and consistency, but it quickly backfired.

What it led to was consistency alright, but also every single product looking exactly the same.

Material Design

Utility is key in most products, but we as humans are visual creatures and we want “nice things”, not a copy of a copy of a copy of something we already have.


Businesses realised that using Material Design for everything strips them of their brand identity, but they also realised the convenience of a design system.