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How to Choose a UI Library for Your Frontend Projectby@aleksandrguzenko
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How to Choose a UI Library for Your Frontend Project

by Aleksandr GuzenkoFebruary 16th, 2023
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Choosing a UI library for your frontend project can be a challenging task. There are many options available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. It's important to consider your specific requirements to keep the right choice for your project in mind, as your project may not be the most popular or widely used option.
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Recently, I started a new frontend project and faced on the one hand a simple, but on the other hand non-trivial task – to choose UI lib. How to choose between MUI, Ant design, Semantic UI, Bootstrap, Tailwind CSS, and others?


I did research about this and want to share the results with you. If you read this article, you probably know what is UI library or UI kit and its purpose of it. Therefore, I will concentrate to the point this theme.


Choosing a UI library for your frontend project can be a challenging task, as there are many options available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. I will highlight only the most important factors to consider when making your decision:


  • Project requirements: Before choosing a library, it's important to understand the specific requirements of your project, including the size and complexity of the project, the required features, and the target audience.


  • User interface design: Different libraries have different design philosophies, so it's important to choose a library that matches your design vision.


  • Performance: Some libraries are more optimized for performance than others, so it's important to consider the performance requirements of your project and choose a library accordingly.


  • Customization: Some libraries allow for greater customization than others, so it's important to consider how much control you need over the look and feel of your interface.


  • Community: A strong and active community can be a great resource for support and finding solutions to common problems. Look for libraries with a large, active community.


  • Documentation: Good documentation is crucial for any library, so be sure to check out the documentation before making a decision.


  • Ecosystem: Consider the ecosystem around the library, including the availability of third-party components and tools that can be used with it.


  • Popularity: The popularity of a library can be an indicator of its stability, reliability, and continued development. Consider choosing a popular library that has been widely adopted and well-maintained.


Based on that factors you probably need one of the most popular (with the most downloads) libraries because they have good documentation, a strong community, better customization, and elaborate design. But keep in mind, that in your case design might be the most important thing and no one from the most popular libraries won't suit your project requirements.


This is a comparison table of the most popular UI Libs:


Library

Design

Customization

Accessibility

Performance

Ecosystem

Documentation

Github Stars

Bootstrap

Consistent, responsive design with wide customization options

Good

Good

Good

Strong

Comprehensive

162k

Ant Design

Strong emphasis on aesthetics and consistency

Good

High priority

Good

Strong

Comprehensive

84.3k

Material UI

Material Design-based, with a focus on consistency

Good

High priority

Good

Strong

Comprehensive

84.5k

Tailwind

Focuses on utility-first design, with fast customization

Excellent

Good

Excellent

Strong

Good

65k

Chakra UI

Focuses on accessibility and design customization

Excellent

High priority

Good

Good

Good

31.1k


As you may see it’s hard to choose UI lib only based on information from external sources. It is more effective to go to websites of UI libraries and explore their design and possibilities of them. The main difference between them is in design. It is almost impossible to objectively compare this characteristic.


In my case, I chose Material UI because it has a familiar design and many additional utilities that I need in my project such as Click-Away Listener, Masonry, and data grid.


Ultimately, the best UI library for your project will depend on a variety of factors and may not be the same for every project. It's important to carefully consider your specific requirements and to keep an open mind, as the right choice for your project may not always be the most popular or widely used option.