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Choosing The Right UI Framework For UI Design and Development

August 4, 2023 3596 Views
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Best UI frameworks

Users today prefer a clean, interactive, simple and straightforward UI experience, no matter how complex the functions are in the background. Thus, developers and organizations are putting more effort into the UI design of their web apps, ensuring they provide a seamless user experience. However, when building a complex app requiring many UI components, maintaining consistency while ensuring ease of use and scalability can be challenging. And designing such a complex UI also requires a significant amount of time. Fortunately, developers can cut down the time of developing stunning and functional UIs using UI frameworks. Furthermore, these frameworks help achieve consistency in UI design. Hence, a UI framework is an indispensable tool in the tech stack of many front-end developers.

But with countless component libraries and frameworks available, it can be overwhelming for developers to choose the best one for their projects. This article aims to make this process easier for you. We’ll first discuss the basic concept of a UI framework. Then we’ll delve into the factors you must consider to choose the right framework for your project. Finally, we’ll explore the features of some of the top UI frameworks.

What is a UI Framework?

A UI framework is a web development tool that makes the front-end development process faster by providing pre-written code libraries and functions for routine tasks involved in developing beautiful, responsive and functional user interfaces (UIs). They essentially provide a foundation on which you can build and design the rest of your project/user interface.

There are various types of UI libraries and frameworks. Some examples of top frameworks include Ext JS, React, Angular, and Vue. A robust UI framework like Ext JS provides a range of ready-to-use common UI components needed to build a UI interface. Other popular UI frameworks like React and Angular use component-based architecture, enabling developers to build efficient UIs and reuse components.

Benefits of UI Frameworks

  • Faster development: Since these frameworks provide pre-written code libraries and ready-to-use, tested components, developers don’t have to write code for every component from scratch. Hence, these frameworks speed up the front-end development process and save time.
  • Stunning and consistent UI design: Best frameworks provide professionally styled UI components, such as buttons, menus, carousels, and sliders, allowing you to build aesthetically appealing UIs. Moreover, you can ensure a consistent UI design using a UI framework.
  • Less maintenance: Using a UI framework means you need to write less code, which, in turn, means less maintenance.
  • Responsive UI design: A UI framework like Ext JS provides pre-built responsive UI elements to enhance the user experience. This means your UI design components will adapt to various screen sizes and devices like desktop, mobile, laptop and tablet.
  • Cross-browser compatibility: Top UI or JavaScript frameworks are cross-browser compatible. This means you can create UI designs and apps that work efficiently across browsers using a single code base. In other words, the UI components provided by these frameworks are designed to work on various browsers.

What Factors Should You Keep in Mind While Choosing the Best UI Framework?

Project Requirements

Considering your specific project requirements, such as UI design’s complexity and scalability, is the first step to choosing the right framework for your needs. For instance, when developing an enterprise solution involving a complex UI with numerous elements, you should look for a UI framework like Ext JS that is specifically designed for enterprise-grade app development.

Performance and Loading Times

Multiple studies show how long loading times can instantly drive users away from an app or website. Thus, it’s crucial to consider the performance of a UI framework. For instance, you should assess whether the UI components, such as data grids, provided by the framework load quickly, are responsive and cross-browser compatible.

Design Consistency

Consistency in UI design is a major concern of front-end developers and organizations. A consistent design means all your UI elements are uniform across the web app or website. But achieving consistency can be challenging when you’re developing all the elements from scratch. However, a good UI framework provides UI elements designed using the best consistent design principles. Hence, it allows you to create a uniform UI and deliver a predictable user experience.

Learning Curve and Documentation

Today’s software development world is highly competitive. Hence, developers and organizations constantly focus on delivering high-performance apps as quickly as possible. And a UI framework helps with that. However, choosing a framework that is easy to learn, use, and integrate is essential. Otherwise, you’ll spend hours learning the ins and outs of the framework instead of harnessing its power to develop stunning and responsive UIs quicker.

Additionally, it’s best to assess whether the framework has detailed documentation and additional learning resources. These resources make it easier to learn about the features and implementation of the framework, making integration quicker and easier.

Integration with Existing Projects

If you’re looking to integrate a UI framework in your existing project/app to enhance its UI design, assess its capability to integrate with your project. For instance, you can analyze the architectural design pattern of your app and check whether the framework supports it.

Customizability and Flexibility

While the best UI frameworks provide beautifully designed and responsive UI components, sometimes you need to customize them according to your project’s requirements. Hence, choosing a framework that supports customization is essential.

Security Considerations

Security is a big concern, especially with open-source frameworks, because the components provided by third-party developers may not be tested. Moreover, there can be malware embedded in the pre-built UI components. Some other common security vulnerabilities and cyberattacks associated with a UI framework include Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and SQL Injection. Since security breaches can result in severe financial and legal ramifications, it’s always recommended to assess how secure the framework is and what security features it provides.

Performance Testing and Optimization

A good framework functions seamlessly in various web apps and is optimized to handle data efficiently. For instance, a top framework like Ext JS offers a robust JS grid capable of processing big data (millions of records) effortlessly without affecting the app’s performance, thereby improving user experience.

Also Read: How to Design UI Faster With the Best UI Components

3 UI Frameworks You Should Consider For UI Design and Development

Sencha Ext JS – The Best UI Framework

 

Sencha Ext JS - The Best UI Framework

Ext JS is a leading JavaScript UI framework that facilities the rapid development of high-performance and highly secure enterprise-grade web and mobile apps. The robust framework is trusted by over 100,00 enterprises worldwide, including Apple, Cisco, Canon and American Airlines.

Why Use Ext JS UI Framework?

Here are the key reasons why so many enterprises and developers rely on the Ext JS framework:

Wide Range of High-Performance UI Components

UI frameworks - Sencha Ext JS UI components for creating enterprise-grade apps

Ext JS has over 140 ready-to-use, responsive, high-performance UI components needed to build an enterprise-level app. You can also customize them according to your project needs without writing lengthy code. Moreover, all the components are designed to work together seamlessly in an app, delivering an exceptional user experience. Some of the common UI components include:

  • Buttons
  • Icons
  • Menus
  • Text fields
  • Sliders
  • Tabs
  • Carousels
  • Checkboxes
  • HTML Calendar
  • Grid

In addition to these components, Ext JS also supports a variety of charts and D3 visualizations, enabling you to build impressive data-intensive apps.

Also Read: How to create stunning web apps with Ext JS and UI components.

Banner: C-Level Guide for Enterprise Application Development

Robust JS Grid

best JavaScript framework - Sencha Ext JS grid

Enterprise-grade apps often require data grids to organize and display data efficiently. Ext JS data grid is perhaps the fastest and most efficient JS grid you’ll find in a UI framework. The blazing-fast grid loads quickly and can handle big data (millions of records) seamlessly without affecting the app’s performance. Additionally, it’s pre-tested across platforms and browsers.

The high-performance grid supports a range of basic and advanced features, such as:

  • Filtering
  • Sorting
  • Grouping
  • Scrolling
  • Row expansion
  • Drag-and-drop and more.

Moreover, with its data export capabilities, you can easily export grid data into various formats, including CSV, XLS, HTML, and PDF.

Cross-Browse and Cross-Platform Compatibility

Many frameworks offer only limited features for desktop app development. However, Ext JS provides a single codebase for cross-platform app development, delivering an exceptional user experience across smartphones, desktops, and tablets. Ext JS components are also compatible across browsers, meaning they are tested to work on all major browsers.

Highly Secure

As aforementioned, security is a big concern with open-source frameworks. As a result, many executives avoid using these frameworks in their company and prefer a highly-secure solution like Ext JS. In fact, Ext JS is one of the most secure frameworks in the market. Its components are fully tested and highly secure. Moreover, it comes with sophisticated built-in security features, enabling organizations to implement powerful authentication mechanisms.

Cost Savings

An open-source UI framework appears to be more cost-effective than Ext JS at first glance, but it can cost you more in the long run when you consider performance issues, security breaches, and maintenance costs. In fact, with Ext JS, many enterprises and developers have saved a significant amount of money on web app development.

For example, research conducted by Dimensional Research shows Ext JS users have saved:

  • 50% on front-end development
  • 75% on cross-platform and cross-browser development
  • 75% on annual app maintenance.

Read the full analysis of customer ROI here.

Detailed Documentation

Ext JS has extensive documentation that consists of all the details about the framework’s features, functionality, and capabilities. It also provides various coding examples to simplify integration. You can also find numerous supporting videos, webinars, whitepapers, and ebooks on Sencha Resource Center.

React JS

UI frameworks- Logo of React, a popular JavaScript framework

React is an incredibly popular JavaScript framework built by Facebook for developing beautiful and functional UIs. It essentially provides pre-built JavaScript code libraries or snippets called components. These components are essentially the building blocks of a React-based app. Additionally, these are reusable components, meaning you can use them across projects. This means you don’t have to write code for common UI elements again and again for different projects. In React framework, you can create any UI element, such as buttons and menus, as custom React components.

Here are some of the key features of React:

  • Reusable components
  • React virtual DOM
  • Large developer community
  • React Developer Tools
  • Easy to learn
  • Uni-directional data flow
  • Flux controls
  • React Native for mobile app

If you want ready-to-use React components, you can use a React UI component library. Many React UI kits and libraries are available today, such as the Semantic UI framework, Material UI, Material Design React UI framework, etc. Additionally, helpful libraries, like React Bootstrap, are also available.

Angular

Logo of Angular JS

Built by Google, Angular is used by thousands of web developers to build single-page applications. It is a TypeScript-based framework that utilizes component-based architecture. Like React, once you build an interface or UI component in Angular, you can reuse it in various projects. Top Angular component libraries include Onsen UI, Angular Material, and Ignite UI.

Key features of Angular include:

  • Enables developers to build high-performance single-page applications
  • Incredible MVC architecture
  • Highly customizable
  • Open source
  • Easy to test
  • Easy to extend
  • Supported by Google
  • Easy to learn. No Pre-requisite knowledge required

What Makes a UI Framework Excellent?

Supported Browsers

A top UI framework supports a range of all major web browsers, such as Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE6+, and Firefox. This way, you users can access your app from any browser.

CSS Units

Different frameworks use different CSS units. For example, some use pixel measurements, some use rems and ems, etc. You should choose a framework that uses the CSS unit most suitable for your individual project, depending on the devices you want to support.

Number of Components

A top framework offers a range of all the common UI components usually needed to build a UI.

Customization

Sometimes you want to change the existing style of UI components even after you’ve completed the project. A good UI framework lets you do that by allowing you to customize the components.

Conclusion

Building UI components from scratch can be challenging for developers. However, a UI framework makes building user interfaces quick and easy by providing pre-written code libraries and ready-to-use UI components. Moreover, they provide responsive components that are compatible across browsers and devices. When choosing a UI framework, consider your project requirements, the framework’s ability to integrate with existing projects, design consistency, performance, loading time, and learning curve.

Some of the best UI frameworks include Ext JS, React and Angular. However, Ext JS leads the race with its:

  • Range of fully-tested, highly customizable, and ready-to-use UI components
  • Blazing-fast data grid
  • MVVM architecture
  • Extensive documentation
  • Cross-platform and cross-browser compatibility
  • Benefits like cost savings and security.

Try The Best and Most Secure JavaScript Framework for Free!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an example of React UI components library?

Semantic UI React is a top React UI library or Javascript library that provides various pre-built components. Material UI is another popular React component library offering a range of high-performance UI components.

Why use UI frameworks?

These frameworks offer a range of benefits, such as faster development, time and cost savings, consistent and responsive UI design, and cross-browser compatibility.

How do I choose a UI framework?

Consider factors like your project requirements, the framework’s performance, loading time, ability to integrate with existing projects, design consistency and learning curve.

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