Why Netflix chose React to build its user interface

May 22, 2023

Tags: Technologies



Large global companies, such as Netflix, for example, usually choose the best technologies and frameworks to create their web pages and different types of software or applications. React in this case was the one that the streaming giant chose to build its user interface.


React is a JavaScript library for creating user interfaces. It is maintained by Facebook and a community of individual developers and companies. React allows developers to create reusable UI components and manage the state of those components. React is declarative, which means that developers describe the desired result of their code rather than the specific steps required to achieve that result. This makes it easier to reason about the code and reduces the chance of errors.





Benefits Netflix Gained Using React to Create User Interfaces


Creating a user interface with React offers several benefits, which have contributed to its great popularity among developers. Here are some key benefits of using React for UI development:


  • Component-Based Architecture: React is built on a component-based architecture, which allows you to split your user interface into self-contained, reusable components. This modular approach promotes code reuse, maintainability, and scalability. Components can be easily combined to create complex user interfaces, making development more efficient.
  • Virtual DOM: React uses a virtual DOM (Document Object Model) to optimize UI rendering. When there are changes to the application state, React updates the virtual DOM and efficiently calculates the minimum number of changes needed to update the actual browser DOM. This approach significantly improves performance by minimizing expensive DOM operations.
  • Declarative syntax: React follows a declarative programming paradigm. Instead of manually manipulating the DOM, you describe what your UI should look like based on the current state, and React takes care of updating the UI accordingly. This makes it easier to understand, reason with, and debug your code, as well as enabling faster development cycles.
  • Efficient updates: React uses a concept called "reconciliation" to update the UI efficiently. By comparing the previous and current states, React determines the minimum set of changes needed to update the UI and applies only those changes. This streamlined approach results in better performance and faster rendering.




  • React Ecosystem and Community: React has a vibrant ecosystem with a wide range of libraries, tools, and community support. The ecosystem includes libraries for state management (eg Redux, MobX), routing (eg React Router), form handling (eg Formik), and many other features. The large and active community contributes to continuous improvement, provides resources and shares knowledge, making it easy to find solutions and stay up to date.
  • Cross-platform development: React can be used to create user interfaces for various platforms, including web, mobile, and desktop applications. React Native, a framework built on top of React, allows you to develop native mobile apps for iOS and Android platforms using JavaScript. This means you can leverage your React codebase and skills to develop apps across multiple platforms.
  • Testing and tool support: React has strong support for testing, with several testing frameworks and libraries available (eg, Jest, Enzyme, React Testing Library). React's component-based architecture makes it easy to write isolated unit tests for individual components. In addition, React has excellent tool support, including a rich set of developer tools and extensions for popular integrated development environments (IDEs) like Visual Studio Code.




Overall, React provides a powerful and efficient way to build user interfaces, offering benefits such as code reuse, performance optimization, declarative syntax, a vibrant ecosystem, cross-platform development, and strong support for tests and tools.


These advantages contribute to increase productivity, maintainability and scalability of UI development projects, which is why Netflix chose this technology to design its user interface in order to meet scalability needs and keep its users happy with the experience on the page and in the different applications offered by the streaming company.


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