Ever since Google announced their new design language, the Material Design, there has been a lot of excitement around its animated elements, colors and layout principles. Many websites as well as web applications have embraced the Material design guidelines for their web interface using Material design frameworks and the trend continues to rise.
If you have never heard of Material design before, or haven’t had the time to see the official Material design spec by Google, then we strongly recommend you to see them first in order to understand its principles before going through our list of Material design frameworks.
With Material design, Google has brought uniformity to its UI (User Interface Design) on all platforms which includes websites, applications and the Android platform itself. Google started with Polymer Project which embraces Material design throughout its Web components. Polymer Project played a key role in Material design’s development and in showcase of Material design concepts for the Web. Soon enough Google announced Material Design Light framework and then followed with Material Components for Web which helps web developers add material design elements to websites and web apps.
Material Design Frameworks for the Web
In an attempt to bring Material design to the Web user interface, many third-party (not from Google) web UI frameworks also came to existence and gained popularity. In this post we will be doing a roundup of the best Material Design frameworks and component libraries including Google’s own MDL.
MDL offers many ready-made components and templates to help you get started quickly. You can also use their customizer utility to pick your choice of Material design colors. You can find MDL on GitHub too. Grab this free Material portfolio template, we built with the MDL framework.
Material Kit is a Free Bootstrap UI Kit made by Creative Tim with a design inspired by Google’s Material Design. It has an excellent implementation of material concepts and provides easy to use and beautiful set of material design components. Along with the restyling of the Bootstrap elements with material design principles, you will find three fully-coded example pages which are helpful in designing your own web projects.
Material Kit is available for free download from the Creative Tim website. For those who want more, Material Kit comes with a premium version too, which includes over 1000 components, sections and example pages, you can check it here: Material Kit PRO
Material Components for the web (MDC-Web) is developed by the core team of engineers and UX designers at Google. These components enable developers to execute Material Design and build beautiful and functional web projects.
Material Components for the web is the successor to Material Design Lite (MDL) mentioned above and offers production-ready components, best-in-class performance and adherence to the Material Design guidelines along with seamless integration with other JS frameworks and libraries.
Material UI is a CSS Framework and a set of React Components that implement Google’s Material Design. It provides support for components such as Buttons, Dialog, Dropwdown menu, Icon buttons, Inputs, Switches, Toolbar and more. You can find Material UI on GitHub too.
BMD is a premium Material Design skin for Bootstrap along with many additional components. It offers Material design color palette and components like spinner, floating action button (FAB), nav tabs, Material design card layouts, toast messages and sidebar menu. It also has Material animations and integration with original Material icons. It also includes a starter template.
Material Foundation is a Material Design version of Foundation for Sites by Zurb. It is a MIT licensed project available on GitHub and offers all Foundation components in Material design along with additional Material components such as FAB (Floating action button).
Angular Material offers Material design components for Angular apps, that work across the web, mobile and desktop. It has been built by the Angular team to integrate seamlessly with Angular. You can find Angular material for both Angular 1 and Angular 2.
Keen UI is a collection of essential Material design UI components written with Vue. Created by Josephus Paye II, Keen UI’s focus is on creating reusable components that have interactivity. You will find numerous components such as for alert, autocomplete, FAB, popover, snackbar, tabs and many other in material design. The project is available on GitHub and is MIT Licensed.
Paper is a bootswatch theme for the Bootstrap framework. It includes all the components that Bootstrap provides but in a Material Design skin.
MD Bootstrap is a free Material design UI kit for Bootstrap 3 as well as Boostrap 4. It offers 400+ material UI elements, 600+ material icons, 70+ CSS animations along with free templates and tutorials to build a material website.
Similar to Paper, Bootstrap Material is another theme for Bootstrap framework and provides all the components included in Bootstrap. On top of that, it also includes support for 740 original Material design icons from the Google Material Design Icons repository.
Daemonite’s Material UI is a cross-platform and responsive front-end framework based on Material Design using Bootstrap 4. Replacing bootstrap.min.css on a site with material.min.css from this project without any other changes will transform all components and elements into a materialised look. You can find the project on GitHub.
Leaf is CSS framework developed by Kim Korte based on the Google’s Material Design. It has extensive list of components such as buttons, cards, sliders, menu, tabs etc. It includes icons by Icomoon, instead of the original Material design icons. Leaf is also available on GitHub and is open for contributions and feedback.
MUI is a lightweight HTML, CSS and JS framework for building sites following Google’s Material Design guidelines. MUI is designed from the ground up to be fast, small and developer friendly. By design it only includes the basic components you need to build a site that follows Google’s Material Design guidelines. MUI CSS/JS has no external dependencies. MUI is also available on GitHub and is open for contributions.
LumX is a front-end framework based on Google Material Design. LumX is based on Sass preprocessor and AngularJS. It is a MIT licensed project available on GitHub.
Google’s Polymer Project is a web framework and their embodiment of Material Design for the web. Polymer aims to support all major modern browsers such as IE (10+), Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Extensive set of documentation and getting started guide is available at the Polymer Project.
You can use the Polymer library to make Web Components, a powerful new platform feature for extending HTML and componentizing your apps. Additionally, you have Polymer App Toolbox to build Progressive Web Apps.
Recommended Material Design CSS Framework
If you find the above list of Material Design frameworks overwhelming, we recommend sticking to either Google’s own MDL framework or going with one of the Bootstrap material theme such as Material Kit Pro or BMD, if you know Bootstrap. For building progressive web apps, Google’s Polymer Project is an ideal choice.
In case you are choosing any other framework, make sure to check their respective GitHub repos for recent activity and issues along with the presence of healthy community around it.
Material Design Resources for Building Websites
If you are planning to build websites with Material Design then the following additional resources would help you get started quickly with your projects:
- Free Material Design Icon packs
- Material Design Website Templates
- Material Design WordPress Themes
- Material Design Backgrounds
Material Design Web UI Demo
If you are looking for some Material Design web UI demo for inspiration, then have a look at these (in Chrome for best experience) which are created using the Polymer Project.
Topeka is a fun quiz app built using material-design based paper-elements
Paper Elements is a sample showcasing Polymer elements based on Material design.
A calculator app mock-up highlighting material ink effects.
Future of Material Design
While Material Design is a hot trend right now and is completely embraced by Google across its apps, websites and Android interface, Microsoft and Apple have their own set of design languages. You can read a comparison between design languages of these tech giants.
As per Google trends, “Material Design” saw a sudden rise after its announcement and quickly surpassed the “Flat Design” trend.
While the trend of Material Design is stable as shown in chart above, we are surely seeing some great momentum with a lot of Material Design CSS frameworks and resources now being available to web designers and developers and an increased adoption of Material principles in web design.
What is your take on Material Design? Do you love it and have adopted it in your projects?