Why Using the UI Components is Useful for JavaScript Development?

As the core programming language of the Internet, JavaScript (JS) attracts millions of developers from all over the world. The sheer number of practical features makes JS the main choice among web application designers, while the program keeps getting better and more comprehensive every year.

In the report called “Developer Survey Results,” Stack Overflow concludes that JS is by far the most commonly used programming language out there as almost 70% of developers use it in 2019. There are many ways to explain the popularity of this program, but we want to focus on UI components and their impact on JS development.

This is a very important JS development topic because UI components play a major role in performance optimization. It’s a feature that gives developers the chance to speed up the work and get things done faster and more efficiently. In this post, you are going to learn the following:

  • The basic overview of JS
  • The basics of web components
  • The benefits of using UI components for JS development
  • Popular component libraries

There is a long way ahead of us, so let’s get started right away!

The Fundamentals of JS

Fundamentals of JS

Before we move on to UI components, we want to remind you of JS qualities. You probably know a lot about this programming language already, so we will cover only the fundamental features here.

By definition, JS is a full-fledged dynamic programming language that, when applied to an HTML document, can provide dynamic interactivity on websites. Given the fact that almost every website contains interactive elements such as CTA buttons, form fields, animations, and similar, it’s not a surprise to learn that JS makes an omnipresent web development tool.

The program is fairly simple and user-friendly, which is why even first-time users can figure it out rather quickly. With JS, you can add a number of functionalities to the web browser in no time at all. Some of the key functionalities include:

  • Application Programming Interface (API): APIs control a wide range of interactive elements, including different HTML styles, 3D web features, audio content, and many more.
  • Third-party APIs: This is a powerful web development solution because it enables you to transfer certain functionalities from a third-party resource such as social networks.
  • Third-party frameworks and libraries: There is also the option of adding third-party frameworks to the HTML. You can use this solution to create apps and websites.

Why developers love JS? There are many reasons, but we will highlight only a handful. First of all, every more or less important web browser supports JS, thus making it a universally-accepted programming tool.

Secondly, JS is rather dynamic and enables simple typing and run-time evaluations. Thirdly, JS is recognized for being extremely object-oriented, while it also allows developers to conduct implicit and explicit delegations.

We could discuss a whole range of additional functions here, but it’s time to move on to the next chapter in our post. Let’s talk about web components for a while.

The Fundamentals of Web Components

Fundamentals of Web Components

Since our goal is to show you the importance of UI components for JS development, we also need to discuss the very concept of web components.

By definition, web components are a set of web platform APIs that allow you to create new custom, reusable, encapsulated HTML tags to use in web pages and web apps. A simpler way to explain web components is to describe them as a tool to design minor but API-consistent parts of the code that you can apply to the broader context of the app or screen.

The concept is based on three specifications:

  • Custom elements: It’s a set of APIs that allows developers to design custom elements for any kind of UI function or feature.
  • Shadow DOM: The main purpose of shadow DOM is to ensure the privacy of element features. Using this specification, you can build scripts and styles that are independent of other elements in your document.
  • HTML template: If you want to develop markup templates and use them multiple times throughout the document, then you can rely on the HTML template specification.

Generally speaking, web components are considered to be universally accepted online. For instance, you can use them for Firefox, Chrome, and Opera functions and development. Safari embraces most of their features, although not to the fullest extent, while Edge is making progress towards full implementation.

Speaking of the UI aspect of web components, it is important to explain this concept as well. When it comes to UI, components are helping web developers to integrate a whole set of functions and make them work as a team and not as individual functions.

For example, specific controls like CTAs buttons, form fields, labels, and many others are not functioning separately. Instead, they are being designed as a group of functions that describe a general and broader behavior.

Let’s try to explain it using a concrete example. If you are building a display panel with information about an email subscriber, you are going to design a UI component with the details such as the user’s name, surname, job title, employer, email address, and so on. Such a component usually contains editing functions so that you can change or update user-related information.

What many developers don’t realize is that the component does not only represent a simple line of code. On the contrary, it encompasses the entire UI as shown on the screen together with the code and the overall behavior that goes along with it. It’s a whole system that you should see and interpret in its entirety.

As such, a component becomes reusable and applicable to all sorts of JS projects. You don’t have to build a new UI component from scratch every time you develop similar functions. Instead, you can use the existing UI elements and speed up the work big time. Needless to say, the whole process would take forever without UI components in JS development.

The Benefits of Using UI Components for JS Development

Using UI Components for JS Development

We hope the introduction helped you to get a grasp of the basics, but now it’s time to concentrate on the main segment of our topic.

What makes UI components such a useful element for JS development? It’s not possible to give one direct answer to this question, so we are going to present to you the key benefits of UI components. Let’s check them out one by one here!

1. Reuse possibilities

You’ve probably figured out by now that the biggest benefit of UI components is the potential to reuse them for other projects. As independent units of code, UI components can be repurposed in a number of new development cycles.

This is not the case with other web development methods because they cannot respond properly to the changes in code infrastructure. UI components can do it successfully, which makes them a great tool for building multiple applications effortlessly.

2. Accelerated development

The second benefit of using UI components for JS programming comes in the form of accelerated development. The whole concept is designed so as to support continuous, agile, and iterative programming because you can make use of the same UI components for multiple purposes.

The idea is simple – developers get to use the same library with tons of UI components. In such circumstances, each programmer is free to enter the library and make use of UI components at will. The tactic leads to development acceleration because users don’t have to start all over again and build a component from scratch.

Instead, they can immediately focus on upgrades and improve the current version of any given component.

3. Enable UX consistency

Another reason to use UI components in JS development is to enable a consistent user experience (UX) across all channels of communication. For instance, a lot of clients create an entire portfolio of more or less different applications. In this case, the biggest problem is to unify the appearance and let the audience notice they are dealing with the same provider here.

With UI components at your disposal, it’s easy to simplify the procedure and build uniformed applications consistently. This means that every segment of UX remains the same, so the audience can recognize it instantly.

4. Simple integrations

JS developers use source code repositories to manage UI programming. If developers can count on UI components, it’s easy for them to make use of the code and integrate it with the new application.

5. Speed up design

When product managers discuss new solutions, they have to take into account a number of features and specifications to make the final item flawless. But when they rely on UI components, product managers can use UI components as starting points and discuss upgrades and extensions only. This type of benefit eliminates much of the time-waste and helps designers and product managers to spend more time brainstorming new features that could significantly enhance the existing product.

The benefits of UI components that we’ve just discussed appear in pretty much every JS project, but another important thing is to think about concrete advantages that take place when using a specific JS framework.

In this case, we will use Vue.js as the reference point because it’s one of the most popular JS frameworks globally. Vue.js enables fast and effortless UI web development and offers you a number of highly specific advantages. Some of the main benefits include the following:

  • Intuitive learning: You don’t have to be a JS or HTML expert to figure out Vue.js and use it to build and reconfigure UI components.
  • Unparalleled flexibility: You can establish functional connections between all sorts of components, libraries, and JS development projects quite simply.
  • Components: If you want to create a library of components in Vue.js, you only need to add your own templates to the DOM and the props using the v-bind function.
  • Events and handlers: Vue.js events encompass the entire history of communication among apps and their users. Paired with handlers, you can use Vue.js to order a specific action every time the targeted event is triggered.
  • Two-way binding: Many developers love Vue.js because of the two-way binding option. Namely, there is no need to update information manually because the framework establishes a two-way connection between JS and DOM.
  • Conditions: In case you want to enable certain functions in highly specific situations exclusively, then you can activate conditional data binding. You can control the function using two directives, v-if and v-else.
  • Various functionalities: Vue.js is not only precious for UI components in JS development. On the contrary, the platform has a wide range of other functionalities, which makes it even more useful for web developers.
  • Super-powerful performance: Vue.js is a tiny document with less than 20 KB in size. As such, it enables an incredibly powerful performance across all verticals.

Popular Web Components UI Libraries You Should Know

Popular Web Components UI Libraries

After everything you’ve seen so far, the only thing left is to discover some of the popular web components UI libraries. We selected a handful of commonly-used libraries for you:

  • Material components web: As one of the most useful UI component libraries, Material components web can serve you with a wide range of practical features for different frameworks.
  • Polymer elements: This library covers dozens of reusable Polymer elements that you can pick and use at will.
  • Vaadin web components: Although being one of the newest libraries, Vaadin web components already promise to be the future of UI components for both desktop and mobile applications in multiple browsers.
  • Wired elements: If you are searching for totally unique handwritten components, then look no further than Wired elements.
  • Elix: Elix is a community of developers who contribute to the library by adding new web components that can be tailored and reused an infinite number of times.
  • Time elements: Sometimes you’ll want to use a subtype of the classical HTML
  • UI5-webcomponents: This library is packed with independent and very useful UI elements.

The Bottom Line

JS is one of the most popular programming languages worldwide thanks to its practical and intuitive features. But the program is getting better and more comprehensive every year as developers keep adding new features and frameworks to the equation.

US components play a major role in this field, which is why we focused on that element of web development in this article. Here’s what you could learn from our post:

  • The basic overview of JS
  • The basics of web components
  • The benefits of using UI components for JS development
  • Popular component libraries

What do you think about the impact of UI components on JS development? Do you consider it to be a vital function of JS programming? Feel free to write a comment and give us some real world examples – we would love to see your opinion about this important topic!

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