Top 10 UI Frameworks for Web Developers

12.02.21 05:32 AM By Manjunath M

A recent survey conducted by Stack Overflow indicated that the popularity of React grew by about 150% from the year 2017 to 2019. This shouldn’t come as a surprise altogether given the fact that its component-based ecosystem is growing exponentially. 

Where some users have a preference for libraries, others tend to develop their components themselves. Whichever may be the case, the list below calls out some of the best UI frameworks and component libraries available today. Note, this list has not been compiled by rank.

Material-UI

Material-UI consists of React components that can successfully implement Google’s Material Design. Material-UI has received more than 35 thousand stars on Github and has established itself as the most popular as well as the most widely used React UI library available on Github.

Material-UI was born as the result of a combination of React and Google’s Material Design. To begin using Material-UI, it is recommended that users acquire knowledge of React and how React works other aspects of web development.

In case users have limited exposure to web development or if prior experience is limited to the more traditional websites that use CSS, some aspects of JavaScript, and HTML, a brief read-through about SPAs and Node can prove beneficial.

React Bootstrap

React Bootstrap consists of Bootstrap 3 components that have been built using React. It has been developed from scratch to perform as true React components and does away with unnecessary dependencies such as jQuery. 

It is among the oldest React libraries and has evolved and matured with React which makes it a great choice to use a UI foundation. The library has received 13 thousand stars on Github and remains firmly as one of the more useful and popular libraries available even though users still lie in wait for Bootstrap 4 support.

Reactstrap

Reactstrap provides users with the basic components of React Bootstrap 4. It has received over 4 thousand stars on Github and the community consists of almost 100 active contributors. Suffice to say that it is an extremely popular option with Bootstrap users. 

The Reactstrap library consists of components of React Bootstrap 4 that favor control and composition. The library functions independently of Bootstrap JavaScript or jQuery. 

That said, users can rely on PopperJs via react-popper when it comes to more advanced content positioning such as Popovers, auto-flipping Dropdowns, and Popovers.

React Toolbox

React Toolbox is essentially a collection of React components that can implement Google’s Material Design. It has implemented some of the latest proposals such as ES6, Webpack, and CSS Modules that have been written in SASS. 

The library can seamlessly integrate the user’s Webpack workflow and is extremely flexible as well as customizable. The fact that it has received almost 8 thousand stars on Github attests to its popularity. 

It is recommended that Webpack is used, however, developers are free to utilize any module bundler with the minimum requirement that it can compile and allow SASS files to be placed in the developer’s node_modules. Users are expected to have a working knowledge of React.

React Desktop

React Desktop is a JavaScript library that has been built over Facebook’s React library. It aims to bring the experience of the desktop to the web. React Desktop features several different Windows 10 as well as macOS Sierra components. 

The library can work seamlessly with Electron.js and with NW.js. Additionally, it can be used equally well with any other JavaScript-powered project.

Onsen UI React

Onsen UI React has been developed keeping in mind Flat and Material design. It is used to build hybrid apps by bringing together React and the Onsen UI framework. 

Onset UI can be described as 

  • An extensive set of high-quality UI components built specifically for mobile applications 
  • Filled with ready-to-use features that are in line with Android and iOS standards of design 
  • Is completely open-source and free to use.

Elemental UI

Elemental UI is an experimental UI toolkit that has been built for Applications and Websites that use React.js. It has received 4 thousand stars on Github and has been developed by the authors of Keystone.js. 

The Elemental UI project is under development at this time and is initially planned to be used in KeystoneJS with the authors are experimenting with Component APs. The plan is to have Elemental UI transition from stylesheets to more inline styles shortly.

Prime React

Although Prime React has received less than 400 hundred stars on Github, it is still popular among niche users. The popularity stems from the fact that it has a unique and rich selection of more than 60 UI components along with multiple different themes. 

It is widely acknowledged as among the more complete UI frameworks for React.  Each of the Prime React widgets is open source, governed by the MIT license, and are free to use. 

Some of Prime React's unique selling points include 

  • 70+ Components - Native and easy to use components that take care of all UI needs. 
  • Open Source - Prime React is hosted at Github with open source and free widgets 
  • Themes - Variety of options available including flat and material design 
  • Community - An active, growing, and vibrant community contributing to its open-source core 
  • Productivity - Free up time that was earlier spent on complex UI requirements 
  • Mobile - Designs that are optimized for touch and responsive user experience 
  • Free Admin Template - Make use of an elegant admin template 
  • Templates - Highly customizable and professionally designed React application templates

Material Components Web

Material Components has been developed by designers and engineers at Google. The library replaced react-mdl and has already reached almost 7 thousand stars on Github. 

It is a system of components, guidelines as well as tools that can be adapted to support the best practices when it comes to UI design. Material Components Web is backed by open-source code.

Blueprint

Blueprint is a user interface toolkit based on React. It has accumulated 9 thousand stars on Github along with 100 contributors. Blueprint has been optimized to build an interface that is complex and data-dense and used in desktop applications. 

Blueprint supports Firefox, Chrome, IE 11, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. However, users may experience lower quality visuals when using IE 10 or below. These are unsupported by Blueprint largely because they do not support CSS Flexbox Layout. 

Microsoft had already deprecated these browsers in January 2016.

At CodeDesign, we heavily rely on Elemental UI and Reactstrap. We convert our designs to code using CodeDesign Visual Builder and then convert them to Reactstrap components. Which one do you use?