It’s always great to have a little toolbox with just the right tools waiting for you when you need them. What if you are about to start working on a new project which should apply the material design language introduced by Google last year? What if you had just a good starter kit with everything you need to dive into the creative process without being distracted by routine tasks?

We’re here to have your back — with a little selection of handy goodies, icons, templates and tools to help you get off the ground faster. This post is one of our first shorter “Sideblog” pieces where we highlight some of the more useful and helpful snippets and goodies every now and then. We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments to this post.

Material Design, The Visual Language

Intended by Google primarily for Android apps running on phones, tablets and everything in between, material design raised awareness of the delightful details that can make up an interface — from subtle transitions and animations to colorful interfaces with bold, vibrant typography. Experiences crafted with material design in mind are bright and appealing; if well crafted, they’re smooth and accessible as well. No wonder that the visual language found its way through to a brave new mobile world in native apps, hybrid apps and also websites.

Yet whenever we talk about aesthetics and interaction, we ought to have a conversation about performance, too. Even performant animations can prove an enormous bottleneck when every DOM element is supposed to move, animate and transition from one state to another. Performance matters more than ever before and we have to find the delicate balance between smooth interactions and getting content to the user fast.

More weight doesn’t mean more wait, so we could treat animations as progressive enhancement, acknowledging that the experience isn’t going to match the material design culture for everybody. That’s when responsive animations — the concept we haven’t been thinking about a lot yet — might become important as well (not to be mixed up with animations in responsive design, which can be delightful as well).

What can be adopted, though, are colors, spacing, fonts and icons. In fact, there are quite a few resources you can use to get just what you need quickly, when you need it.