Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Material Design Animation

This document is a preview.

Authentic Motion

Perceiving an object's tangible form helps us understand how to manipulate it. Observing an object's motion tells us whether it is light or heavy, flexible or rigid, small or large. Motion in the world of material design is not only beautiful, it builds meaning about the spatial relationships, functionality, and intention of the system.

Mass and Weight

Physical objects have mass and move only when forces are applied to them. Consequently, objects can’t start or stop instantaneously. Animation with abrupt starts and stops or rapid changes in direction appears unnatural and can be an unexpected and unpleasant disruption for the user.

Best Practices

A critical aspect of motion for material design is to retain the feeling of physicality without sacrificing elegance, simplicity, beauty, and the magic of a seamless user experience. Here are some guidelines to help translate these concepts into animations.

Motion with swift acceleration and gentle deceleration feels natural and delightful.

Linear motion feels mechanical. An abrupt change in velocity at both the beginning and end of the animation curve means the object instantaneously starts and stops, which is unrealistic.

Special Cases: Entering and Exiting Frame

When an object enters the frame, ensure it's moving at its peak velocity. This behavior emulates natural movement: a person entering the frame of vision does not begin walking at the edge of the frame but well before it. Similarly, when an object exits the frame, have it maintain its velocity, rather than slowing down as it exits the frame. Easing in when entering and slowing down when exiting draw the user's attention to that motion, which, in most cases, isn't the effect you want.

Enter and exit frame at peak velocity. The ball enters and exits frame at peak velocity, creating a confident transit
Speed up when entering or slow down when exiting. Don’t distract the user with unnecessary changes in velocity.

Making adjustments

Not all objects move the same way. Lighter/smaller objects may accelerate or decelerate faster, because they have less mass and require less force to do so. Larger/heavier objects may need more time to reach peak speed and come to rest. Think about how this applies to the various UI elements in your app and consider how their motion should be represented.

Material Design

This document is a preview.


We challenged ourselves to create a visual language for our users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. This is material design. This spec is a living document that will be updated as we continue to develop the tenets and specifics of material design.


Create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science.

Develop a single underlying system that allows for a unified experience across platforms and device sizes. Mobile precepts are fundamental, but touch, voice, mouse, and keyboard are all first-class input methods.


Material is the metaphor

A material metaphor is the unifying theory of a rationalized space and a system of motion. The material is grounded in tactile reality, inspired by the study of paper and ink, yet technologically advanced and open to imagination and magic.

Surfaces and edges of the material provide visual cues that are grounded in reality. The use of familiar tactile attributes helps users quickly understand affordances. Yet the flexibility of the material creates new affordances that supercede those in the physical world, without breaking the rules of physics.

The fundamentals of light, surface, and movement are key to conveying how objects move, interact, and exist in space in relation to each other. Realistic lighting shows seams, divides space, and indicates moving parts.
Bold, graphic, intentional

The foundational elements of print-based design—typography, grids, space, scale, color, and use of imagery—guide visual treatments. These elements do far more than please the eye; they create hierarchy, meaning, and focus. Deliberate color choices, edge-to-edge imagery, large-scale typography, and intentional white space create a bold and graphic interface that immerses the user in the experience.

An emphasis on user actions makes core functionality immediately apparent and provides waypoints for the user.
Motion provides meaning

Motion respects and reinforces the user as the prime mover. Primary user actions are inflection points that initiate motion, transforming the whole design.

All action takes place in a single environment. Objects are presented to the user without breaking the continuity of experience even as they transform and reorganize.

Motion is meaningful and appropriate, serving to focus attention and maintain continuity. Feedback is subtle yet clear. Transitions are efficient yet coherent.