The React open-source community is huge, and we’re continually discovering new approaches to solve problems that most developers come across every day. Looking into React UI libraries, we’ve evolved extensively since the arrival of Bootstrap in 2010, and now we have a plethora of options available to choose from. For an ideal React UI framework, the judgement criteria include the following highlights:
– The breadth of components, for example, are there sufficient components to meet our requirements at present and in the future?
– Quality of implementation, including depth, flexibility, and aesthetics.
– Ease of restyling, keeping in mind the designer experience.
– Typescript support.
– Documentation quality.
– Project health with respect to the update cadence, depth of commitment and extent of use.
Excluding most Material Design libraries for being visually distinct and not restyle-able, we have the following contenders for the best react js based UI frameworks:
1. Ant Design
Created by Alibaba, Ant Design contains a variety of usable and refined components.
– Component Breadth: A+
Every component that most developers need is included in Ant Design.
– Quality of implementation: A
Good-looking components with an abundance of options and interoperability.
– Ease of re-styling: B+
Not built for the overhaul, Ant Design is themeable to an extent.
– Typescript support: A+
Includes full typings and is written in Typescript.
– Quality of documentation: A
Documentation of Ant Design is Chinese-first, so there are definitely a bunch of idiosyncrasies (for example, Chinese screenshots), however, there are many accurate, thorough, and interactive illustrations of each component being paired with other Ant components.
Project health: A+
Ant Design has 18K+ Github stars, with full-scale support from Alibaba.
Designed to be a highly theme-able React UI framework, PrimeReact is a great alternative if you’re looking to follow specific brand design guidelines and don’t want to dig in too far.
– Component Breadth: B+
Even though PrimeReact has 60 components, many of them seem pretty niche and are missing some level of practicality (for example, org chart).
– Quality of implementation: A-
Minimal, but functional.
– Ease of restyling: A+
There are numerous full themes available in PrimeReact, including Bootstrap and Material Design. Complete guidance for overhaul theming is included.
– Typescript support: A-
– Quality of documentation: B
Each component comes with interactive illustrations, however, the options are listed without many examples.
– Project health: B
With over 200 Github stars, PrimeReact is supported by the organization that creates and sells themes for it. Users are generally directed to the website.
– Cost: Free, with paid themes.
3. Office UI Fabric
Microsoft encourages their developers to create applications for the company’s software using Office UI Fabric. Internally consistent and professional-looking, this React UI framework certainly resembles the Microsoft interface.
– Component Breadth: A
Almost all components applied in Windows/Office applications are covered in Office UI Fabric, however, anything else is pretty much a toss-up.
– Quality of implementation: A+
Good-looking, responsive and very robust.
– Ease of restyling: C+
– Recoloring is trivial, however, making Office UI Fabric look like anything other than MS Office might be a huge undertaking.
– Typescript support: A+
Written in TypeScript, with full typings.
– Quality of documentation: A+
Each component is illustrated with interactive examples. Easy to navigate.
– Project health: A
With under 2,000 Github stars, Office UI Fabric is supported and maintained by Microsoft.
– Cost: Free