Google launches web library to give sites a material design makeover

Forgoing other JavaScript frameworks, Google has launched Material Design Lite to give static websites a quick way to adopt their material design mantra.

For developers who wanted to add a material design look to their website, but found Polymer too much, Google has created a collection of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript dubbed Material Design Lite (MDL) that the search giant says will gracefully degrade on older browsers.

Coming in at around 27 kilobytes when compressed, MDL is supported on browsers newer than IE10, and will fall back to only CSS on IE9. Google said in the MDL FAQ that IE8 is not officially supported, and elements will degrade to their MDL CSS version, or possibly even back to the base HTML element in the case of sliders, which return to HTML input fields.

An earlier version of MDL is currently live on the Google Services and DoubleClick rich media gallery sites, and is due to appear on Google Shopping.

Although MDL re-implements the functionality of Polymer, Google said MDL and Polymer can coexist on the same site.

"Material Design Lite is focused on delivering a vanilla CSS/JS/HTML library of components," the company said on MDL's GitHub page. "We are not a framework. If you are building a single-page app and require features like two-way data-binding, templating, CSS scoping, and so forth, we recommend trying out the excellent Polymer project."

Material design first appeared at Google I/O last year, as part of a new look for what would become the Android Lollipop operating system.

Since that time, Google has taken its design language into its core Android apps, Chrome OS, websites, and even its apps on Apple's iOS.