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How to Use MUI DataTables for Clear User Understanding

In the dynamic landscape of web design, the effective presentation of data is a crucial aspect that directly impacts user experience. Imagine a scenario without the aid of data tables, information is likely to be scattered across the webpage, leading to a disjointed and confusing user interface. Users may struggle to make sense of the data, resulting in a less-than-optimal experience. Without a structured layout provided by data tables, users might become disengaged due to the lack of clarity and order. MUI Datatables acts as a powerful solution to these challenges, providing web designers with a robust toolset to display data elegantly and enhance the overall user experience.

Material UI follows the principles of Material Design, emphasizing clarity, hierarchy, and responsiveness. This design philosophy seamlessly translates into DataTables, creating an elegant and consistent user interface.

MUI Datatables offer a structured format to display data, ensuring that information is organized in a clean and visually appealing manner. This structured presentation significantly improves user comprehension.

If you are new to Material UI Framework, you could consider going through this free Material UI CrashCourse to get working knowledge on the same.

Understanding MUI DataTables

In the realm of web development, Material UI emerges as a beacon of innovation, offering a sophisticated toolkit to elevate the creation of stylish and functional DataTables. The introduction of MUI Datatables represents a pivotal moment in the pursuit of seamless user interfaces that seamlessly blend style and substance.

Introduction to MUI DataTables:

Material UI, a renowned React UI framework, introduces a dedicated component for DataTables, aligning with the principles of Material Design. These tables are designed not just for data presentation but as dynamic elements that contribute to an enriched user experience.

Significance of MUI Datatables:

  1. Consistency and Harmony: Material UI’s approach to DataTables adheres to the core tenets of Material Design, emphasizing consistency and harmony in visual elements. This consistency ensures that DataTables seamlessly integrate into the broader design language of the application.

  2. Responsive and Adaptable: MUI Datatables are crafted with responsiveness in mind, adapting to various screen sizes and devices. This adaptability is crucial for providing a consistent and user-friendly experience across different platforms.

  3. Dynamic Interaction: Beyond static data presentation, Material UI Tables facilitate dynamic interaction. Features like sorting, filtering, and pagination empower users to navigate through datasets with ease, enhancing the overall usability of DataTables.

  4. Aesthetic Appeal: Material UI’s design philosophy places a premium on aesthetics. DataTables benefit from this philosophy, sporting an aesthetic appeal that goes beyond mere functionality. The visual elements, including clean lines, subtle shadows, and well-defined hierarchies, contribute to a visually pleasing and modern user interface

Getting Started with MUI Datatables: Step by Step Guide:

Getting started with Material UI Tables marks the initiation of a journey toward creating dynamic and visually appealing data displays. The seamless integration of Material UI into your React project opens the door to crafting tables that go beyond conventional data presentation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to kickstart your exploration:

  1. Installation Guide for Material UI in React: Begin by installing Material UI into your React project. Open your terminal and use npm or yarn to add Material UI to your dependencies:

    # Using npm 
    npm install @material-ui/icon @emotion/react @emotion/styled 
    
    # Using yarn 
    yarn add @material-ui/icon @emotion/react @emotion/styled
    
    

    This step ensures that you have the necessary tools at your disposal to unleash the power of MUI Tables within your React application.

  2. Basic Implementation: Dive into the world of MUI Tables with a simple example. Create a basic implementation showcasing employee data. This introductory example will walk you through the fundamental steps of incorporating Material UI Tables, providing a tangible starting point for your journey.

    import React from 'react'; import { Table, TableBody, TableCell, TableContainer, TableHead, TableRow, Paper } from '@material-ui/core'; const EmployeeTable = () => {   // Your employee data goes here   const data = [     { id: 1, name: 'John Doe', position: 'Developer' },     { id: 2, name: 'Jane Smith', position: 'Designer' },     // ... additional employee entries   ];   return (     <TableContainer component={Paper}>       <Table>         <TableHead>           <TableRow>             <TableCell>ID</TableCell>             <TableCell>Name</TableCell>             <TableCell>Position</TableCell>           </TableRow>         </TableHead>         <TableBody>           {data.map((employee) => (             <TableRow key={employee.id}>               <TableCell>{employee.id}</TableCell>               <TableCell>{employee.name}</TableCell>               <TableCell>{employee.position}</TableCell>             </TableRow>           ))}         </TableBody>       </Table>     </TableContainer>   ); }; export default EmployeeTable; 
    • Import necessary Material UI components for tables and paper.Create a functional component EmployeeTable.Define sample employee list as either an array or array of objects in a const data variable that is an array of objects describing id, name and position.Render a basic Material UI Table with TableHead and TableBody.Map through employee list to generate table rows with relevant information.

    • This simple example sets the stage for more advanced implementations, allowing you to gradually explore and harness the capabilities of MUI Datatables in your React applications.

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Customizing MUI Table Components

Customization is the key to transforming Material UI Datatables into powerful components that align seamlessly with your application’s unique requirements. Let’s delve into various customization options that Material UI offers to customize styling, structure, and functionality of your tables.

Implementing Header and Footer

A well-structured table often requires a clear header to label each column and, in some cases, a custom footer for additional information. Material UI makes this customization straightforward. Check out the code snippet below

Example:

import { Table, TableBody, TableCell, TableContainer, TableFooter, TableHead, TableRow, Paper } from '@mui/material';

const CustomHeaderFooterTable = () => {
  return (
    <TableContainer component={Paper}>
      <Table>
        <TableHead>
          <TableRow>
            <TableCell>Name</TableCell>
            <TableCell>Position</TableCell>
            {/* Additional header cells */}
          </TableRow>
        </TableHead>
        <TableBody>
          {/* Table rows go here */}
        </TableBody>
        <TableFooter>
          <TableRow>
            <TableCell colSpan={2}>Total Employees: 10</TableCell>
            {/* Additional footer cells */}
          </TableRow>
        </TableFooter>
      </Table>
    </TableContainer>
  );
};

Code Explanation:

  • Utilize TableHead for the header row.

  • Define the header cells within TableHead.

  • Use TableFooter to incorporate custom footer below the table.

  • Adjust the colSpan property to merge cells in the footer.

Creating Sticky Headers or Column Pinning

Enhance user experience by making table headers sticky for easy reference, especially with long lists. Material UI provides the StickyHeader feature

Example:

import { Table, TableBody, TableCell, TableContainer, TableHead, TableRow, Paper } from '@mui/material';
import TableStickyHeader from 'mui-table-sticky-header'; // Import the library

const StickyHeaderTable = () => {
  return (
    <TableContainer component={Paper}>
      <TableStickyHeader>
        <Table>
          <TableHead>
            <TableRow>
              {/* Header cells go here */}
            </TableRow>
          </TableHead>
          <TableBody>
            {/* Table rows go here */}
          </TableBody>
        </Table>
      </TableStickyHeader>
    </TableContainer>
  );
};

Code Explanation:

  • Import the TableStickyHeader library.

  • Wrap the Table component with TableStickyHeader for the sticky effect.

Exploring the Data Grid Feature

Material UI offers a comprehensive DataGrid component for extensive data representation with features like sorting, filtering, and pagination. Install the required package

Example:

npm install @mui/x-data-grid
import { DataGrid } from '@mui/x-data-grid';

const DataGridTable = () => {
  const columns = [
    { field: 'id', headerName: 'ID', width: 70 },
    { field: 'name', headerName: 'Name', width: 150 },
    { field: 'position', headerName: 'Position', width: 150 },
  ];

  const rows = [
    { id: 1, name: 'John Doe', position: 'Developer' },
    // Additional rows
  ];

  return (
    <div style={{ height: 400, width: '100%' }}>
      <DataGrid rows={rows} columns={columns} pageSize={5} />
    </div>
  );
};

Code Explanation:

  • Import the DataGrid component from @mui/x-data-grid.

  • Define columns and rows.

  • Render the DataGrid with specified rows, columns, and optional pageSize.

Adding Expandable Rows and Pagination

Make your table more user-friendly by incorporating expandable rows and pagination. Material UI facilitates this seamlessly

Example:

import { Table, TableBody, TableCell, TableContainer, TableHead, TableRow, Paper, TablePagination } from '@mui/material';

const ExpandablePaginationTable = () => {
  const [page, setPage] = React.useState(0);
  const [rowsPerPage, setRowsPerPage] = React.useState(5);

  // Define your table data

  const handleChangePage = (event, newPage) => {
    setPage(newPage);
  };

  const handleChangeRowsPerPage = (event) => {
    setRowsPerPage(parseInt(event.target.value, 10));
    setPage(0);
  };

  return (
    <TableContainer component={Paper}>
      <Table>
        <TableHead>
          <TableRow>
            {/* Header cells go here */}
          </TableRow>
        </TableHead>
        <TableBody>
          {/* Table rows go here */}
        </TableBody>
        <TablePagination
          rowsPerPageOptions={[5, 10, 25]}
          component="div"
          count={/* Total number of rows */}
          rowsPerPage={rowsPerPage}
          page={page}
          onPageChange={handleChangePage}
          onRowsPerPageChange={handleChangeRowsPerPage}
        />
      </Table>
    </TableContainer>
  );
};

Code Explanation:

  • Use TablePagination for paginating your table.

  • Manage page and rows per page state.

  • Handle page and rows per page changes with respective functions.

Utilizing Variants: Outlined and Filled Tables

Material UI allows you to choose between outlined and filled variants for tables. Implementing this customization is a breeze

Example:

import { Table, TableBody, TableCell, TableContainer, TableHead, TableRow, Paper } from '@mui/material';

const OutlinedFilledTable = () => {
  return (
    <>
      <TableContainer component={Paper}>
        {/* Outlined Table */}
        <Table variant="outlined">
          <TableHead>
            {/* Header cells go here */}
          </TableHead>
          <TableBody>
            {/* Table rows go here */}
          </TableBody>
        </Table>

        {/* Filled Table */}
        <Table variant="filled">
          <TableHead>
            {/* Header cells go here */}
          </TableHead>
          <TableBody>
            {/* Table rows go here */}
          </TableBody>
        </Table>
      </TableContainer>
    </>
  );
};

Code Explanation:

  • Utilize the variant prop with values ‘outlined’ or ‘filled’ to switch between variants.

Enhancing User Interaction with Icons and Performing Actions

Elevate user interaction by incorporating icons and enabling actions within your table. Here’s a snippet demonstrating how to add icons to your table

Example:

import { Table, TableBody, TableCell, TableContainer, TableHead, TableRow, Paper, IconButton } from '@mui/material';
import EditIcon from '@mui/icons-material/Edit';
import DeleteIcon from '@mui/icons-material/Delete';

const ActionableTable = () => {
  const handleEdit = (id) => {
    // Implement edit action
  };

  const handleDelete = (id) => {
    // Implement delete action
  };

  return (
    <TableContainer component={Paper}>
      <Table>
        <TableHead>
          <TableRow>
            <TableCell>Name</TableCell>
            <TableCell>Actions</TableCell>
          </TableRow>
        </TableHead>
        <TableBody>
          {/*
            Map through your data and render rows with actions
            For each row, include icons that trigger edit and delete actions
          */}
          <TableRow>
            <TableCell>John Doe</TableCell>
            <TableCell>
              <IconButton onClick={() => handleEdit(1)}>
                <EditIcon />
              </IconButton>
              <IconButton onClick={() => handleDelete(1)}>
                <DeleteIcon />
              </IconButton>
            </TableCell>
          </TableRow>
          {/* Additional rows */}
        </TableBody>
      </Table>
    </TableContainer>
  );
};

Code Explanation:

  • Import necessary icons from @mui/icons-material.

  • Implement functions (handleEdit and handleDelete) for edit and delete actions.

  • Use IconButton components to place icons that trigger actions.

These customization options empower you to tailor Material UI Tables to fit your application’s unique needs. Whether it’s creating a structured header, ensuring sticky headers for better navigation, exploring the advanced features of DataGrid, or adding icons for actionable items, Material UI offers a versatile toolkit to elevate your data presentation. As you delve into these customizations, remember to strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality for an optimal user experience.

Here’s a summary of various customizations that we have implemented for Material UI Datatables:

Customization FeatureDescription
Header and FooterUsed to add Header and Footer to the Table
Sticky Headers or Column PinningUsed to make Header row fixed at the top while the table is scrollable
Data Grid FeatureUsed to implement sorting, filtering and pagination
Expandable Rows and PaginationUsed to add expandable rows and pagination
Variants: Outlined and Filled TablesUsed to design outlined or filled style to Table
Icons and Performing ActionsUsed to incorporate icons in the table for better UX.

Props and Classes in MUI Datatables

Material UI Tables come equipped with a plethora of props and classes, providing a rich toolkit for tailoring your tables to specific design and functionality requirements. Let’s explore some of the key props and classes available, accompanied by practical examples:

Table Component Props

The primary container for your table, the Table component, supports various props such as size, and padding. Here’s how you can use them:

<Table size="small" padding="default">
  {/* Table contents go here */}
</Table>

<Table size=”small” stickyHeader padding=”default”> {/* Table contents go here */} </Table>

  • size: Adjusts the overall size of the table.

  • padding: Configures cell padding.

TableHead and TableBody Classes

Material UI provides default styling for the header and body. However, you can further customize these elements using the sx prop to define inline styles:

<TableHead sx={{ backgroundColor: 'lightgray' }}>
  {/* Header cells go here */}
</TableHead>

<TableBody sx={{ '& .MuiTableRow-root': { backgroundColor: 'aliceblue' } }}>
  {/* Table rows go here */}
</TableBody>
  • sx: Allows inline styling using an object notation.

TableCell Component Props

Customize individual cells using props like align, colSpan, and rowSpan:

<TableCell align="right" colSpan={2} rowSpan={3}> {/* Cell content goes here */} </TableCell>
  • align: Sets text alignment within the cell.

  • colSpan and rowSpan: Merge cells horizontally and vertically.

TablePagination Component Props

For paginated tables, TablePagination offers props like rowsPerPageOptions and component:

<TablePagination
  rowsPerPageOptions={[5, 10, 25]}
  component="div"
  count={/* Total number of rows */}
  rowsPerPage={rowsPerPage}
  page={page}
  onPageChange={handleChangePage}
  onRowsPerPageChange={handleChangeRowsPerPage}
/>
  • rowsPerPageOptions: Defines options for rows per page.

  • component: Specifies the component type.

By mastering these props and classes, you unlock the potential to create highly customized Material UI Tables, aligning them precisely with your application’s design and user interaction goals. As you delve into customization, leverage the extensive documentation provided by Material UI for in-depth insights into each prop and class.

Responsive Modes of Material UI Tables

Material UI Tables offer a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes, ensuring a consistent and user-friendly experience across devices. Let’s explore the three responsive modes provided by Material UI Tables, accompanied by code examples.

  1. Auto Mode:

    In Auto mode, the table automatically adjusts its layout based on the available space. Columns are stacked on top of each other when the screen size is reduced, providing a fluid and responsive design.

    <TableContainer>
      <Table>
        <TableHead>
          <TableRow>
            <TableCell>Name</TableCell>
            <TableCell>Age</TableCell>
            <TableCell>Email</TableCell>
          </TableRow>
        </TableHead>
        <TableBody>
          {/* Table rows go here */}
        </TableBody>
      </Table>
    </TableContainer>

    The Auto mode ensures a smooth transition between different screen sizes without requiring manual adjustments.

  2. Scroll Mode:

    Scroll mode keeps the table structure intact but introduces a horizontal scrollbar when the content exceeds the screen width. This prevents content from being cut off and allows users to scroll horizontally to view additional columns.

    <TableContainer>
      <Table>
        {/* Table structure remains the same */}
      </Table>
    </TableContainer>

    The Scroll mode is effective for preserving the table’s layout while accommodating a large number of columns.

  3. Stacked Mode:

    Stacked mode is ideal for narrow screens, such as those on mobile devices. It transforms the table into a stacked view, where each row is presented as a card, making it easy to scroll vertically through the data.

    <TableContainer>
      <Table>
        <TableBody>
          <TableRow>
            <TableCell>Name: John Doe</TableCell>
          </TableRow>
          <TableRow>
            <TableCell>Age: 30</TableCell>
          </TableRow>
          <TableRow>
            <TableCell>Email: john@example.com</TableCell>
          </TableRow>
        </TableBody>
      </Table>
    </TableContainer>

    Stacked mode prioritizes vertical scrolling for improved readability on smaller screens.

By leveraging these modes, Material UI Tables ensure a seamless user experience across a variety of devices and screen sizes. Whether your users are on desktops, tablets, or smartphones, the table adapts intelligently, providing optimal visibility and interaction.


You could also go through this free Material UI Tables Course to get a better understanding with hands-on practice with MUI Datatable.

Final Thoughts

Material UI Tables empower developers with the ability to craft tables that not only display data seamlessly but also elevate the overall user experience. From the foundational steps of installation and basic implementation to the advanced customization options like sticky headers, data grid features, and pagination, MUI Tables provide a comprehensive solution.

As you’ve witnessed, customization is at the heart of Material UI Tables, with an array of props and classes offering fine-grained control over various aspects. Whether it’s adjusting the size of the table, styling header and body elements, or customizing individual cells, MUI Tables provide flexibility that aligns with diverse design requirements.

Delve deeper into the documentation to discover additional features, best practices, and the latest updates. As you continue your journey with Material UI Tables, experiment with different scenarios and use cases to truly harness the potential of this dynamic tool.

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Yash Poojari

Yash Poojari