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Why Use Material UI: The Best Aesthetics in App Design

If you’re contemplating streamlined design and development for your app, you might wonder why use Material UI. This UI framework distinguishes itself by offering rapid prototyping, a consistent design language, extensive customization options, and robust community support. Integrating seamlessly with React, Material UI provides developers a polished set of tools to create visually appealing and functionally rich user interfaces efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • Material UI provides rapid prototyping, consistent design, customizable components, and extensive documentation, enhancing development efficiency and the aesthetics of app designs.

  • Material UI excels in a component-based development approach, adhering to Google’s Material Design guidelines and offering a responsive design adaptable to different screens, with an active community and comprehensive support for TypeScript.

  • While Material UI offers numerous benefits and advanced customization for React projects, consideration of project size, complexity, and framework compatibility is crucial when choosing a UI framework for development.

But first, an overview of MUI and what it offers:

Benefits of Using Material UI

Person using Material UI on a laptop

Material UI brims with advantages and features that make it an efficient and visually engaging choice for app design. It’s more than just a UI framework; it’s a game-changer in the realm of app development. Some of its key features include:

  • Rapid prototyping

  • Consistent design language

  • Customizable components

  • Extensive documentation and community support

Material UI leaves no stone unturned in offering a holistic app development experience for mobile devices.

The integration of pre-built MUI components and React’s component-based architecture accelerates user interface construction and integration, thereby boosting development speed. Additionally, MUI offers the following benefits:

  • It follows Google’s Material Design guidelines, providing a consistent design language that results in visually appealing and easy-to-navigate user interfaces.

  • It has a responsive design that adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes, which is crucial for mobile-friendly user interfaces.

  • It allows for the creation of custom themes with its theming system, helping to keep brand identity consistent across applications.

Furthermore, Material UI promotes a component-based development methodology, which efficiently reduces code duplication and simplifies long-term maintenance.

Rapid Prototyping

One notable advantage of MUI is its ability for swift prototyping. With the assistance of pre-built components and easy integration, developers can quickly create and test user interfaces. The beauty of MUI lies in its simplicity and efficiency, allowing developers to bring their concepts to life effortlessly.

Material UI can be integrated quickly for prototyping via a Content Delivery Network (CDN), offering Universal Module Definition (UMD) files for both development and production environments. Thus, it not only saves time but also enables developers to work on their project in a short period, making rapid prototyping a reality.

Consistent Design Language

The adherence of MUI to Google’s Material Design guidelines ensures a consistent design language across different devices and platforms, resulting in a uniform visual appeal and improved user experience.

Material Design principles, as embraced by Material UI, focus on creating interfaces that mimic the tactile and visual sensibilities of physical materials. The result is a design language that is engaging, intuitive, and universally accessible, forming a cohesive material design system, which is a key aspect of design systems and follows material design specifications.

Moreover, MUI’s cross-platform compatibility supports consistent user interface design across web and mobile applications through frameworks like React Native, enhancing the versatility and reach of your apps.

Customizable Components

Material UI goes beyond pre-built components; it emphasizes the power of customization. With a flexible theming system, Material UI allows developers to create unique designs and maintain brand consistency. This level of customization fosters creativity and allows developers to leave their unique mark on their creations.

Developers have the ability to apply one-off custom styles to individual components using the sx prop, as well as target global style overrides using class names. Component states such as hover, focus, and disabled can be custom-styled for consistency by targeting MUI provided state classes and using the styled() utility for dynamic styles. The Box component acts as a utility for padding, margin, and custom component properties, while the GlobalStyles component allows for adding global baseline styles.

For more advanced customization, Material UI allows breaking down components into smaller parts and utilizing hooks like useFormControl() for creating unique component functionalities. If you’re looking for a marketplace dedicated to custom components for MUI, PureCode.ai is an excellent destination, perfect for finding or sharing custom Material UI components.

Extensive Documentation and Community Support

The extensive documentation and supportive community of MUI add significant value to its offerings. They offer robust support and adhere to industry best practices, helping developers at every step of their journey. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned developer, Material UI’s documentation and community support enhance the development experience and broaden your knowledge base.

The Material UI community is notably active and large within the React ecosystem, engaging through platforms like Stack Overflow, GitHub, and LinkedIn, where they discuss and resolve issues, share works, and stay informed about best practices. In addition to the community support, MUI provides direct support through MUI X maintainers for Pro and Premium plan users and offers enterprise-level support via Tidelift subscriptions and contracting services with MUI engineers.

Moreover, MUI includes robust TypeScript support, enhancing its utility for projects that prioritize type safety and stricter development practices.

Material UI Components Overview

Material UI layout components

Material UI is a treasure trove of pre-built components, offering a wide range to choose from. Including layout, data display, and input and interaction components, it enables developers to quickly implement high-quality designs.

Components such as Cards, Avatars, and Dividers are utilized to show content, display images related to users or profiles, and separate content into clear groups respectively. Other components like the Stepper, Badge, Tooltip, Chip, and Dialog offer functionality for displaying progress, showing new item counts, providing information on hover, representing complex entities, and focusing user attention on modal interactions.

The Paper component is fundamental for showing backgrounds, while the Box component acts as a wrapper for other components, highlighting the versatility in layout and composition capabilities provided by Material UI.

Layout Components

Responsive design with Material UI

Layout components in Material UI, such as Container and Grid, are the backbone of a well-structured and organized design. They allow for easy arrangement of content and responsive designs, ensuring that your app looks great on all screen sizes.

MUI’s layout components are built with the Flexbox layout model, which allows for designing adaptive and responsive layouts. This aids in the easy arrangement of content in rows and columns that scales across different devices. To enhance responsive design capabilities, MUI layout components can be used with breakpoints, and the Hidden property can control element visibility to ensure an optimal user experience on various screen sizes.

Data Display Components

Data display components in Material UI

Data display components are key to presenting information in a user-friendly manner. Some examples of data display components include:

  • Tables

  • Tooltips

  • Charts and graphs

  • Progress bars

  • Sliders

  • Dropdown menus

These reusable components provide versatile options for presenting information, making it easy for users to understand and interact with the data.

MUI tables can be customized to include:

  • Collapsible rows using the Collapse component, allowing users to reveal more information as needed

  • A denser presentation of information, suitable for displaying more data in a compact space

  • Complex table structures with spanning rows and columns, catering to sophisticated data display needs

  • Captions to enhance accessibility, serving as headings for screen readers.

MUI supports sorting and selection mechanisms within tables, such as Checkbox and TableSortLabel components, and provides options for custom pagination. To further refine the data display, Material UI tables can have scrollable rows, fixed column headers, and groupings by utilizing multiple rows in a table head.

Input and Interaction Components

Input and interaction components are the heart of any app, enabling users to interact with the app seamlessly. Text fields, buttons, and dialogs are just a few examples of the components that facilitate user engagement and interaction within the app.

MUI provides a range of input components including:

  • Autocomplete for real-time suggestions

  • Slider for range selections

  • Checkbox for multiple selections

  • Radio for single selection

  • Toggle Button for state or option switching

  • Rating for feedback collection

  • Select for dropdown lists

  • Switch for binary options

Buttons in Material UI are essential for triggering actions such as form submissions and interact with various components. Dialogs serve as modals for additional information requests or detailed feedback, while Snackbars provide brief text messages to users.

Material UI vs. Other UI Frameworks

Despite Material UI being a strong contender in the UI framework landscape, comparing it to other UI frameworks is important. Each framework brings its unique features and advantages to the table, and the choice often depends on the specific needs of the project.

Tailwind CSS, for instance, is versatile for modern web development as it can be used across different technologies and is not exclusive to any JavaScript framework. On the other hand, Material UI is designed specifically for React, limiting its integration capabilities with other libraries and frameworks such as Vue.js, Laravel, or Gatsby.

Tailwind CSS’s utility-first approach may necessitate more manual work to assemble designs compared to Material UI’s pre-built components.

Advantages of Material UI over Competitors

In comparison with its rivals, MUI boasts numerous advantages that set it apart. From a comprehensive range of components to advanced customization options and cost-effective solutions, Material UI offers a compelling package that’s hard to resist.

Material Design improves upon flat design with more skeuomorphism and physics, enhancing user friendliness and the overall experience. The library’s intuitive customization options empower developers to create unique designs atop the standard Material UI components. Material UI’s DataGrid component is designed to handle large volumes of tabular data efficiently, with features like real-time updates and customizable templates.

Material UI provides cost-effective solutions with free access to core features and paid plans for additional support and enterprise capabilities. Furthermore, MUI covers a broad spectrum of use cases out-of-the-box, reducing the amount of time and effort required in development.

Considerations When Choosing a UI Framework

Selecting between MUI and other frameworks requires careful consideration. It requires careful analysis of the project’s requirements, size, complexity, and long-term goals.

For small projects or straightforward applications, Material UI’s advanced features may be excessive, whereas for complex projects, the extensive range of components is beneficial. The decision can also be influenced by the type of project, such as SEO-sensitive user-facing websites or component-rich web applications. Material UI and Tailwind CSS may be compared on the grounds of website performance, with Tailwind CSS providing optimized performance through smaller CSS bundles.

Long-term project factors, such as potential for growth, maintenance needs, and learning curve should also be considered when choosing between Material UI and other frameworks.

Integrating Material UI with React

The process of integrating MUI with React involves a few simple steps: installation, setup, and the creation of custom components. The combination of Material UI’s rich features and React’s efficient rendering makes for an impressive toolkit for app development.

By leveraging “import react” in combination with MUI’s pre-built components, developers can efficiently create and modify user interfaces. Material UI offers a rich developer experience, complemented by comprehensive documentation and tools like the Material-UI Theme Editor for simplifying the theming process.

Here’s a tutorial video:

Installation and Setup

The installation and setup of MUI in a React project involve a few simple steps. With the help of npm commands, you can add the necessary dependencies and get started with MUI in no time.

To start using Material UI, install the core package into a React application using the command npm install @mui/material @emotion/react @emotion/styled, while for projects preferring styled-components, use npm install @mui/material @mui/styled-engine-sc styled-components and follow the styled-components guide for additional configuration.

Ensure React and react-dom are installed in the project, as they are required peer dependencies for Material UI, with versions either ‘^17.0.0’ or ‘^18.0.0’. For styling, install the Roboto font, which is the default typeface for MUI, by using npm install @fontsource/roboto or by adding the font to your project using Google Fonts CDN in the <head> tag of the HTML document.

Add Material Icons to the project for use in Icon components and SVGs with npm install @mui/icons-material, or incorporate them through the Google Web Fonts CDN.

Creating Custom Components with Material UI

Creating custom components with Material UI

The process of creating custom components with Material UI is both creative and rewarding. It involves leveraging pre-built components and customization options to achieve the desired design and functionality.

Material UI allows developers to:

  • Tailor the appearance of pre-built components using its flexible theming system

  • Support global theme overrides for consistency across the interface

  • Apply one-off custom styles to individual components using the sx prop

  • Target global style overrides using class names

Component states such as hover, focus, and disabled can be custom-styled for consistency by targeting MUI provided state classes and using the styled() utility for dynamic styles. The Box component acts as a utility for padding, margin, and custom react components properties, while the GlobalStyles component allows for adding global baseline styles.

For more advanced customization, MUI allows breaking down components into smaller parts and utilizing hooks like useFormControl() for creating unique component functionalities.

Real-World Examples of Material UI in Action

MUI extends beyond theoretical concept, it is a practical tool that has been successfully utilized in a range of real-world applications. From real estate rental companies to music networks and online education platforms, Material UI has proven its versatility and effectiveness in app design.

QuintoAndar, a real estate rental company, simplified the renting process by building user interfaces with MUI’s design. GovX created exclusive offers for uniformed professionals using a website developed with Material UI. OpenClassrooms employs MUI to offer online education and career coaching services. Bethesda.net uses Material UI for their gaming publisher website, enhancing community interactions. Additionally, Semantic UI is another popular choice for designing user interfaces.

BARKS, Japan Music Network, showcases content on Material UI-developed platforms. Hijup, leading in Muslim Fashion e-commerce, pioneered its online presence through MUI. iFit leverages Material UI to provide personal training and health tips on its website. EQ3, specializing in modern furniture, utilizes Material UI for its e-commerce design. Comet integrates Material UI in its tool for machine learning project management.

Final Thoughts: Why Choose Material UI for Your Project

In conclusion, MaterialUI offers numerous benefits and features that make it an efficient and visually appealing choice for app design. Its integration with React further enhances its capabilities, offering a comprehensive toolkit for app development.

From rapid prototyping, consistent design language, customizable components, and extensive documentation and community support, Material UI offers a holistic development experience. It provides a wide range of pre-built components, including layout, data display, and input and interaction components, enabling developers to quickly implement high-quality designs. Furthermore, Material UI stands strong when compared to its competitors, offering several advantages such as a comprehensive range of components, advanced customization options, and cost-effective solutions. For those seeking production-ready code, check out PureCode.ai, a marketplace dedicated to custom MUI components. When choosing between MUI and other frameworks, it’s essential to consider factors like project size, complexity, and long-term goals. Overall, Material UI offers a compelling package that’s hard to resist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why material UI is better than Bootstrap?

Material-UI offers a modern design language with consistent user experience and flexible theming options, making it a powerful front-end development tool compared to Bootstrap.

What are the advantages of Material Design?

Material Design allows for easy customization to match brand guidelines through material theming, and it incorporates user-friendly features like subtle skeuomorphism and built-in user feedback.

Do companies use material UI?

Yes, over 2772 companies around the world have started using Material-UI as a Frontend Framework tool, including companies like Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd. and Visa, Inc.

How does Material UI enhance rapid prototyping?

Material UI enhances rapid prototyping by providing pre-built components and easy integration, which allows developers to accelerate software development.

How can I create custom components with Material UI?

With Material UI’s theming system and customization options, you can easily create custom components to achieve your desired design and functionality.

Andrea Chen

Andrea Chen