What is Material UI in React?
Updated on 16th Jan, 24 9.1K Views

Incorporate Material UI into your React applications to create modern, responsive designs that adhere to the latest web development standards.

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React Material UI and Its Importance

Material UI is based on Google’s Material Design language. It offers a vast array of pre-built components that follow the Material Design principles, ensuring a consistent look in your application. The library includes components such as buttons, cards, dialogs, icons, and many more.

React Material streamlines your development process by providing a set of high-quality components that can be easily integrated into your project. Additionally, the library’s modular nature allows you to cherry-pick the components you need, making it a lightweight addition to your application.

React Native Material UI: Taking It to Mobile

React Native Material UI: Taking It to Mobile

React Native Material UI provides an easy and powerful way to build native mobile apps with a consistent and modern design. It leverages the robust Material Design language. Combined with React Native, it helps improve your development speed and gives you access to native device features.

Here are the highlights of using React Native Material UI for mobile app development

  • Material Design Components – It provides UI components styled according to Google’s Material Design specification. This gives your app a modern and clean mobile-first design.
  • Native Performance – Since the components are built with native React Native, they have native performance and feel on mobile devices.
  • Platform-Specific Styling – The UI components automatically style themselves according to the platform (Android vs iOS) design guidelines.
  • Easy to Use – The API is very similar to the web Material-UI library, so it’s easy for web developers to pick up and use.
  • High Component Coverage – It has a wide range of UI components like buttons, tabs, lists, cards, menus, etc. This covers most of the basic UI elements you’ll need for an app.
  • Theming Support – You can create custom color themes and apply them globally to all components. This ensures a consistent look across your app.
  • Constantly Improving – The library is actively maintained with frequent new releases and improvements.

Material UI Components

Material Design provides various components for creating visually appealing, consistent, and user-friendly UI. Here’s an explanation of some of the important Material components:

  • Theming: Theming involves customizing the visual style and appearance of an application. It includes defining colors, typography, shapes, and other design elements to create a unique and fascinating user interface.
  • Grid System: The Material Design grid system is a set of layout guidelines that helps designers and developers create structured and consistent layouts. It’s based on a 12-column grid, which can be easily adjusted to create responsive designs. The grid system assists in organizing content and maintaining alignment in a user-friendly way.
  • Typography: It provides guidelines for selecting fonts and creating harmonious text elements. It includes recommendations for font families, sizes, line heights, and letter spacing.
  • Buttons: Material UI offers a variety of button styles, including raised buttons, outlined buttons, and floating action buttons (FABs). Buttons are a crucial component for interaction and provide clear visual cues for actions users can take in the application.
  • Icons: Material UI provides a comprehensive set of icons that are clean, consistent, and easily recognizable. These icons are vector-based, which means they can be scaled without losing quality. Icons are used to represent actions, navigation, and other elements in the user interface.
  • Text Fields: Text fields in Material UI are used for gathering user input. They can be standard text fields, filled text fields, or outlined text fields. Text fields include labels, hints, and error messages to guide users in inputting data
  • App Bars: App bars, also known as toolbars, are typically located at the top of an application screen. They contain elements like the app’s title, navigation controls, search bars, and action buttons. App bars play a central role in navigation and provide a consistent way to access different parts of the app.

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How to Install Material UI in React

In order to commence working with Material UI, it is imperative to install the required dependencies. Initially, proceed to your project directory and execute the subsequent command

npm install @mui/material @emotion/react @emotion/styled

This command installs the Material UI core package, along with the required emotion packages for styling.

Material UI Icons React and Material Icons React

Any user interface incorporates icons as a fundamental component. Material UI provides a wide range of icons that React projects can effortlessly import. To utilize Material UI icons, you must install the required package.

@mui/icons-material package
npm install @mui/icons-material
Once installed, you can import and use the icons as follows
import IconButton from '@mui/material/IconButton';
import DeleteIcon from '@mui/icons-material/Delete';
function MyComponent() {
  return (
    <IconButton>
      <DeleteIcon />
    </IconButton>
  );
}

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A carousel is a popular UI component that showcases a series of content in a sliding manner. Material UI does not provide a built-in carousel, but you can use third-party libraries like react-responsive-carousel to seamlessly integrate a carousel into your Material UI project.

First, install the carousel package:

npm install react-responsive-carousel
Next, import the required components and style your carousel:
import { Carousel } from 'react-responsive-carousel';
import 'react-responsive-carousel/lib/styles/carousel.min.css';
function MyCarousel() {
  return (
    <Carousel showThumbs={false}>
      <div>
        <img src="image1.jpg" alt="Image 1" />
      </div>
      <div>
        <img src="image2.jpg" alt="Image 2" />
      </div>
    </Carousel>
  );
}

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How to Use Material UI in React

To incorporate Material UI components into your React application, import the specific components you need and include them directly in your JSX code. For instance, if you want to utilize a Material UI button, import the Button component and incorporate it in your code.

import Button from '@mui/material/Button';
function MyButton() {
  return (
    <Button variant="contained" color="primary">
      Click Me
    </Button>
  );
}

You can customize the appearance and behavior of Material UI components using the provided props and theming options.

How to use Material-UI Correctly

Here are some tips on how to use Material-UI correctly:

  • Follow the Documentation – The extensive documentation of Material-UI covers all aspects of the library. Before utilizing any component, it is crucial to read its documentation to comprehend its features, props, and usage. Additionally, the documentation incorporates examples and demos that facilitate a quick start.
  • Use Theme Customization – The theming API in Material-UI empowers you to customize your components’ appearance and align it with your brand or design specifications. By utilizing the createMuiTheme function, you can generate a custom theme object and apply it to your app through the ThemeProvider component.
  • Use Responsive Design – Material-UI components are designed to be responsive out of the box, meaning they automatically adjust to different screen sizes and devices. To take advantage of this feature, you can use the Grid component to create a flexible and responsive layout for your app.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Overrides – Material-UI components come with predefined styles that follow the Material Design guidelines. While you can override these styles using the makeStyles or withStyles functions, it is recommended to avoid unnecessary overrides and use the provided props to customize the components.
  • Use Component Composition – Material-UI empowers you with an extensive collection of components for constructing intricate UIs. By combining pre-existing Material-UI components, you can effortlessly fashion sophisticated and reusable components, eliminating the need to develop them from scratch.
  • Optimize Performance – To optimize the performance of your app, it is crucial to use the React.memo function to memoize your components and prevent unnecessary re-renders, even though Material-UI components are already designed to be performant.
  • Keep up-to-Date – The Material-UI team actively maintains and updates the framework, regularly adding new features and improvements. To benefit from these updates and ensure compatibility with other dependencies in your app, it is crucial to keep your version of Material-UI up-to-date.

To use Material-UI correctly, you should follow the documentation, customize the theme, design responsively, avoid unnecessary overrides, compose components, optimize performance, and stay updated with updates and improvements. By adhering to these best practices, you can create high-quality and performance UIs using Material-UI.

Following these basic guidelines will help you build high-quality, professional React apps using Material UI and uphold Material Design principles.

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React Native Material Menu

React Native Material Menu

A menu is a vital component that allows users to navigate your application. To create a Material Design-inspired menu in your React Native application, use the @react-navigation/material-bottom-tabs package.

First, install the package

npm install @react-navigation/material-bottom-tabs react-native-paper
Next, import the required components and configure your menu
import { createMaterialBottomTabNavigator } from '@react-navigation/material-bottom-tabs';
import { MaterialCommunityIcons } from '@expo/vector-icons';
const Tab = createMaterialBottomTabNavigator();
function MyTabs() {
  return (
    <Tab.Navigator>
      <Tab.Screen
        name="Home"
        component={HomeScreen}
        options={{
          tabBarIcon: ({ color }) => (
            <MaterialCommunityIcons name="home" color={color} size={26} />
          ),
        }}
      />
      {/* Add more screens here */}
    </Tab.Navigator>
  );
}

With the @react-navigation/material-bottom-tabs package, you can create beautiful, responsive menus that follow Material Design guidelines for your React Native applications.

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Conclusion

In this blog, we explored the ins and outs of Material UI, a powerful library that simplifies the process of creating visually appealing and consistent user interfaces in React applications. By leveraging Material UI, you can create stunning web, and mobile applications that adhere to the latest design standards.

We covered various aspects of Material UI, including installation, usage, theming, and integration with third-party libraries. By understanding and utilizing the concepts discussed in this blog post, you can elevate your React projects to new heights, and provide an unparalleled user experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned React developer or just starting, Material UI is an essential tool in your arsenal that will streamline your development process, and help you create modern, responsive applications.

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