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Material UI

Material-UI logo

If you don't have design skills then it is best to follow someone else's design system. A good one is material design as pioneered by Google as there is a great React component library that follows it. The library is called Material-UI and is installed with npm,

Run this command in frontend/

npm install --save @material-ui/core
npm install --save @material-ui/icons

which installed 4.11.1.

Styling Material-UI components

Fortunately Material-UI's components can be styled using styled-components, but for this to work effectively the Material-UI styles must be injected first, this is achieved by adding an outer <StylesProvider> wrapper to the app in frontend/src/App.tsx,

import CssBaseline from "@material-ui/core/CssBaseline";
import { StylesProvider } from "@material-ui/core/styles";

const App = () => {
  return (
    <StylesProvider injectFirst>
      <CssBaseline />

where ... represents the existing code.


Material-UI can be themed, allowing for changes to the appearance of the app. The theme is created by createMuiTheme and is styled-components compatible. This allows the following to be added to frontend/src/theme.ts,

import { createMuiTheme, Theme } from "@material-ui/core/styles";

const createTheme = (darkMode: boolean): Theme => {
  const palette = {
    type: (darkMode ? "dark" : "light") as any,

  return createMuiTheme({ palette });

export default createTheme;

which allows for dark mode support based on the user's preference by adding the following to frontend/src/App.tsx,

import useMediaQuery from "@material-ui/core/useMediaQuery";
import { ThemeProvider as MuiThemeProvider } from "@material-ui/styles";
import { ThemeProvider } from "styled-components";

import createTheme from "src/theme";

const App = () => {
  const prefersDarkMode = useMediaQuery("(prefers-color-scheme: dark)");

  const theme = React.useMemo(
    () => createTheme(prefersDarkMode), [prefersDarkMode]

  return (
    <ThemeProvider theme={theme}>
      <MuiThemeProvider theme={theme}>
        ... // Existing code