An introduction to material design: Principles and approach

Material design is an equal evolution between both the flat and skeuomorphic design.

Material design is a set of design principles developed by Google. It’s also an Android-oriented design language that supports onscreen touch experiences via natural motions.

The designers used to optimize users’ experience with realistic lightning, animation features, platform-consistent GUIs, and 3D effects. Material designs use bold colors, multiple layers, and drop shadows to organize the content.

Material design is an equal evolution between both the flat and skeuomorphic design. A Flat material design comes in many color choices, minimalism, preference for large graphics, etc. Additionally, from skeuomorphic design, it takes a digital approximation of real-world objects.

Material design was introduced as a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of excellent designs with the possibility and innovation of technology and science. This design was inspired by the study of paper and ink.

The principles

There are many principles available in Google. They are divided into the following main concepts:

  1. Material is the Metaphor
  2. Bold, Graphic, Intentional is the focus
  3. Motion provides meaning
  4. Flexible foundation
  5. Cross-platform

Material is the Metaphor:

The entire design is based on the physical world with the material metaphor. It means that the material design is grounded in reality.

This design brings an element of physical reality to the digital reality. It remains technologically advanced and is open to the imagination. It is inspired by the real world, including textures and lighting shades.

The edges and surfaces of the material give visual cues that are grounded in reality with the added flexibility of the digital material. The use of familiar tactile attributes aids the users to understand the affordances quickly.

Bold, Graphics, Intentional is the focus:

The material design makes use of all the basics of print design, i.e., grids, scale, and use of imagery, space, typography, etc. However, the design does not take these elements, but instead, takes the face value and aesthetic quality.

It uses elements to create focus, hierarchy, meaning, etc. It has intentional white spaces and deliberate choices to create a graphic as well as a bold interface.

It’s used to create large-scale typography and edge-to-edge imagery that provides a new experience to users. The importance is given to the user actions like core functionality, which immediately gives a way-point for the customers.

Motion provides Meaning:

The Material design provides attention and respect to the motion and reinforces the users. It is considered as a primary user.

All the motions and actions take place in a single environment without breaking the flow. The motion is meaningful, serving to focus on attention and maintain continuity. It works through subtle feedback as well as coherent transitions. The elements transform and recognize the environment by generating new transformations.

Flexible Foundation:

The particular material design system is designed in such a way that it enables brand expression. It’s integrated with a custom codebase, and it allows the seamless implementation of components, design elements, and plug-ins.


Material design uses the same User Interface across platforms by using shared components across iOS, Android, web, and Flutter.

Android material design


The most powerful and elegant material design-based admin Dashboard template is MaterialPro. It has many features that are described below.


  • Dark and Light sidebar – With this, you can get the desired look and feel for your dashboard.
  • Bootstrap 4x – This theme has been made with Bootstrap 4 along with a fully responsive layout.
  • Lots of Widgets – It has a wide range of widgets that are available with the MaterialPro admin package.
  • Multiple File Uploads – Here, you can upload multiple files without multiple selectors.
  • Gallery Options – It covers all the options to showcase different variations for the gallery.
  • Dedicated support – As supreme support is the key to success, our group provides dedicated support.
  • Detailed Documentation – To make it easy, we usually prepare for detailed documentation.

Hestia Pro

This was introduced as an excellent premium WordPress theme. With the help of this, you can customize your site in any way that you want to. This theme is user-friendly and responsive as well. It arranges and organizes your submenu content with ease.

If you have difficulty during the installation, then you will be provided with a video tutorial to help you out. With the help of various free builders, you can create amazing-looking content quickly.


  • SEO friendly
  • Mega Menu
  • Translation ready
  • Live Customizer
  • Optimized Speed
  • Demo Content Included
  • Video Tutorial
  • Custom Background


This is a premium WordPress theme that has a large collection of material design widgets and animations. It can be used in any type of web application dashboards like admin dashboards, CMS, SAAS, websites, and admin panel.

This theme is a unique one. It supports all browsers and looks equally amazing on all devices. It has a clean and minimal design that makes your site user-friendly.


  • Responsive Layout
  • Awesome Email Page
  • Retina Ready
  • Calendar of Events
  • Valid HTML and CSS3
  • Fully Customized
  • Expandable Sidebar
  • Cross-Browser Support

Doko Pro

It’s considered as one of the best material design WordPress themes and is designed with a new concept called material design. It has a simple and modern design with amazing layouts.

Doko Pro is based on a live customizer where you can preview all the changes that you made. There are many powerful widgets available that can help design the site. This theme supports WooCommerce plug-in, which can allow you to create an online shop in lesser time.


  • Preloaded Options
  • WooCommerce Compatible
  • Detailed Documentation
  • Unlimited Theme Colors
  • Advanced Typography Settings
  • One-Click Demo Import
  • Fully Built On Customizer
  • Custom Shortcodes


It’s an awesome premium WordPress theme with an amazing design that is based on the latest trend, i.e., the material design. This theme is easy to use as well as install. It provides excellent customer support.

There are unlimited color options available on the site. With this theme, you’re provided with many advanced customization options that can help create a site that you want. It’s compatible with the child theme with some other features like icon integrated cross-browser, contact form 7, etc.


  • Fully Customizable
  • Demo Content
  • Unlimited Color Options
  • Advanced Portfolio Options
  • Child Theme Compatible
  • Typography Options
  • Awesome Slider
  • Advanced Blog Options

Although the dashboard market with material design isn’t very popular as other templates, there are proven products built with Materialpro that are widely used and many established business websites have an affinity towards it.

This guest post was written by Nirav Joshi, lead developer and co-founder @WrapPixel

Nirav is a veteran front end Developer and Designer with close to a decade of experience in CSS frameworks such as Angular, React Bootstrap Template. As a hands-on developer and designer, he knows that the right documentation can make or break a project. He co-founded WrapPixel, the design and template marketplace in 2016 to help developers and designers craft beautiful user experiences effortlessly.