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Material Design vs Material-UI: What are the differences?

Material Design: Google's Material Design. Material Design is a unified system that combines theory, resources, and tools for crafting digital experiences; Material-UI: React components for faster and easier web development. Build your own design system, or start with Material Design. React components for faster and easier web development. Build your own design system, or start with Material Design.

Material Design and Material-UI can be primarily classified as "Front-End Frameworks" tools.

"They really set a new bar in design" is the primary reason why developers consider Material Design over the competitors, whereas "React" was stated as the key factor in picking Material-UI.

Material-UI is an open source tool with 48.6K GitHub stars and 11K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Material-UI's open source repository on GitHub.

DeveloperTown, Ratio, and Chattermill are some of the popular companies that use Material-UI, whereas Material Design is used by Google, SkyQuest, and GEMServers. Material-UI has a broader approval, being mentioned in 69 company stacks & 80 developers stacks; compared to Material Design, which is listed in 25 company stacks and 38 developer stacks.

Advice on Material Design and Material-UI
Needs advice
Ant DesignAnt DesignMaterial-UIMaterial-UI

Hi, I start building an admin dashboard with next.js and looking for a frontend framework ( components ready ). So I end up with Ant Design and Material-UI, but I never built a project with these two.

Here is a list of my requirements.

  1. Good documentation.
  2. easy CRUD ( date picker and date range picker bundled )
  3. built-in multi-lang feature or Great 3rd library support
  4. Admin dashboard template
  5. well code maintenance

Which is better for the long run?

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Replies (2)

I'm using both of them. But If you want to create admin dashboard, You should try AntDesign. They (Alibaba / Taobao) created a group of UI libaries to create admin dashboard. It's production ready. In my opinion, If you want to create a dashboard with mobile first / simple dashboard, you can choice material ui. otherwise, antdesign is better (if you want focus on desktop /tablet ui). Some of skeleton has built with material ui such as react-admin is good point to start. But if you want to create admin site with antdesign, I think you should build with umijs (it is alternative and compatible with nextjs and antd support directlly)

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Irving Caamal
Mid Level Software Engineer at Fullstacklabs · | 2 upvotes · 92K views
Recommends I highly recommend you baseweb, it's easy and very customizable and also beautiful.

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Ashish Sharma
Sr. UI Associate at Daffodil Software · | 5 upvotes · 582.8K views

I am a bit confused when to choose Bootstrap vs Material Design or Tailwind CSS, and why? I mean, in which kind of projects we can work with bootstrap/Material/Tailwind CSS? If the design is made up on the grid, we prefer bootstrap, and if flat design, then material design. Similarly, when do we choose tailwind CSS?

Any suggestion would be appreciated?

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Replies (4)

Hi Ashish,

If you need minimal work to be done from your end and like most of the components / design available out of the box - go with Bootstrap. This is the oldest and has the widest adoption and a whole range of components built out by others.

If you like Material design, this is a good choice too. Please note that Bootstrap also has a Material theme, though it is not as native.

Both of these above frameworks are bulky and has more than what you may need.

If you like to build micro-components in a elegant way, TailwindCSS is the way to go.

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I don't know about material design.

You would go with Bootstrap if you want to prototype / build something without bothering about the design at all and you are OK if everything looks kinda template-y, using bootstrap out of the box components.

Go with Tailwind if you need a sleek design, a user interface where building with components will be important (because tailwind strongly favors component-based UI), and you know you will need to extend the built-in classes with your own (because tailwind is very easy to extend)

I would personally recommend tailwind over bootstrap any day of the week.

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Tailwind CSSTailwind CSS

Tailwind is great you don't have to mess with naming things and it is so much more flexible than the cookie cutter bootstrap, but I don't know about material UI. I recommend tailwind it's super simple to learn and has great code snippets.

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Tailwind CSSTailwind CSS

Put simply, you should use Tailwind regardless. It is a great addition to whatever you use because it removes the hassle of writing CSS.

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Decisions about Material Design and Material-UI
Ryan Wans

Ant Design offers the most components with JS and CSS taken care of. They look clean, professional, and usable.

We paired this with Bulma for making the containers and structure reactive. Bulma (for react) make it easy to just add a section, container, and content and have it work on all platforms.

We also use Geist UI, though not recognized by Stack share, for its simple and modern feel. Highly recommend Geist if you want modern components for complicated UI's

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Kexin Lin
at University of Toronto · | 8 upvotes · 226.4K views

I replaced Bootstrap with Material-UI during the front-end UI development, because Material-UI adopts a component-based importing style, making it suit well in a "React programming style". This makes me comfortable when programming because I can treat importing UI components as other React components I define.

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Xinyi Liu
Software Developer at BigClarity · | 6 upvotes · 294.5K views

As our team will be building a web application, HTML5 and CSS3 are one of the standardized combinations to implement the structure and the styling of a webpage. Material-UI comes with all sorts of predesigned web components such as buttons and dropdowns that will save us tons of development time. Since it is a component library designed for React, it suits our needs. However, we do acknowledge that predesigned components may sometimes cause pains especially when it comes to custom styling. To make our life even easier, we also adopted Tailwind CSS. It is a CSS framework providing low-level utility classes that will act as building blocks when we create custom designs.

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Fonts and typography are fun. Material Design is a framework (developed by Google) that basically geeks out on how to assemble your typographical elements together into a design language. If you're into fonts and typography, it's fantastic. It provides a theming engine, reusable components, and can pull different user interfaces together under a common design paradigm. I'd highly recommend looking into Borries Schwesinger's book "The Form Book" if you're going to be working with Material UI or are otherwise new to component design.

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Pros of Material Design
Pros of Material-UI
  • 4
    They really set a new bar in design
  • 3
    An intuitive design
  • 2
    Simply, And Beautiful
  • 2
    Many great libraries
  • 0
  • 136
  • 82
    Material Design
  • 58
    Ui components
  • 28
    CSS framework
  • 23
  • 14
    Looks great
  • 11
    Good documentation
  • 11
  • 9
  • 7
    Ui component
  • 7
    Open source
  • 6
    Code examples
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 3
    Very accessible
  • 3
  • 3
    Supports old browsers out of the box
  • 2
  • 2
    Designed for Server Side Rendering
  • 1
    Easy to work with
  • 1

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Cons of Material Design
Cons of Material-UI
  • 2
    Sometimes, it can hang the browser
  • 31
    Hard to learn. Bad documentation
  • 25
    Hard to customize
  • 19
    Hard to understand Docs
  • 6
    Bad performance
  • 6
    Extra library needed for date/time pickers
  • 5
    For editable table component need to use material-table

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What is Material Design?

Material Design is a unified system that combines theory, resources, and tools for crafting digital experiences.

What is Material-UI?

Material UI is a library of React UI components that implements Google's Material Design.

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What companies use Material Design?
What companies use Material-UI?
See which teams inside your own company are using Material Design or Material-UI.
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What tools integrate with Material Design?
What tools integrate with Material-UI?

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What are some alternatives to Material Design and Material-UI?
Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web.
Material Design Lite
Material Design Lite (MDL) lets you add a Material Design look and feel to your static content websites. It doesn't rely on any JavaScript frameworks or libraries. Optimized for cross-device use, gracefully degrades in older browsers, and offers an experience that is accessible from the get-go.
Flat UI
Flat UI is a beautiful theme for Bootstrap. We have redesigned many of its components to look flat in every pixel.
Ant Design
An enterprise-class UI design language and React-based implementation. Graceful UI components out of the box, base on React Component. A npm + webpack + babel + dora + dva development framework.
Express your creativity with Material, an animation and graphics framework for Google's Material Design and Apple's Flat UI in Swift.
See all alternatives