Posted by Addy Osmani, Staff Developer Platform Engineer
MDL makes it easy to add a material design look and feel to your websites. The “Lite” part of MDL comes from several key design goals: MDL has few dependencies, making it easy to install and use. It is framework-agnostic, meaning MDL can be used with any of the rapidly changing landscape of front-end tool chains. MDL has a low overhead in terms of code size (~27KB gzipped), and a narrow focus—enabling material design styling for websites.
Get started now and give it a spin or try one of our examples on CodePen.
MDL is a complimentary implementation to the Paper elements built with Polymer. The Paper elements are fully encapsulated components that can be used individually or composed together to create a material design-style site, and support more advanced user interaction. That said, MDL can be used alongside the Polymer element counterparts.
MDL optimises for websites heavy on content such as marketing pages, text articles and blogs. We've built responsive templates to show the broadness of sites that can be created using MDL that can be downloaded from our Templates page. We hope these inspire you to build great looking sites.
Text-heavy content sites:
MDL includes a rich set of components, including material design buttons, text-fields, tooltips, spinners and many more. It also include a responsive grid and breakpoints that adhere to the new material design adaptive UI guidelines.
The MDL sources are written in Sass using BEM. While we hope you'll use our theme customizer or pre-built CSS, you can also download the MDL sources from GitHub and build your own version. The easiest way to use MDL is by referencing our CDN, but you can also download the CSS or import MDL via npm or Bower.
The complete MDL experience works in all modern evergreen browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge) and Safari, but gracefully degrades to CSS-only in browsers like IE9 that don’t pass our Cutting-the-mustard test. Our browser compatibility matrix has the most up to date information on the browsers MDL officially supports.
We've been working with the designers evolving material design to build in additional thinking for the web. This includes working on solutions for responsive templates, high-performance typography and missing components like badges. MDL is spec compliant for today and provides guidance on aspects of the spec that are still being evolved. As with the material design spec itself, your feedback and questions will help us evolve MDL, and in turn, how material design works on the web.
We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we have tried to cover some of them in our FAQ. Feel free to hit us up on GitHub or Stack Overflow if you have more. :)
MDL is built on the core technologies of the web you already know and use every day—CSS, HTML and JS. By adopting MDL into your projects, you gain access to an authoritative and highly curated implementation of material design for the web. We can’t wait to see the beautiful, modern, responsive websites you’re going to build with Material Design Lite.