Choosing React.js for Web Development: Top Use Cases and Real-World Examples

Immerse your users in dynamic web applications. Here are some top use cases and real-world examples that reveal the true capabilities of React.js.

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by Matias Emiliano Alvarez Duran


You've got an idea for a new mobile or web application, or maybe you already have a product gaining traction on the market. Ideally, you’re serving up super fast load times, responsive designs, and a seamless user experience so your users don't lose patience and click away.

Enter React.js: the JavaScript library created by Meta (when it was known as Facebook) and maintained by an open-source community ever since. It's like the Arya Stark of web development—quick, powerful, and focused on getting results.

We'll showcase real-world examples of React.js applications used by global enterprises and share expert tips on when you should avoid React.js and look for alternate solutions.

Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you.

Table of contents

What is React.js, and how does it work?

React.js is an open-source JavaScript library for building interactive UIs with a modern look and feel, using components that can be reused across the application.

React breaks down a web page into small, manageable components, like buttons or input fields. These components manage and display data independently and can interact with each other to create a cohesive UI. This means, developers can create complex and modern UIs and build enterprise applications without writing much code.

React.js features

While React.js is a powerful and flexible tool, these unique features make it different from other JavaScript libraries:

  • Reusable components help create complex UIs without rewriting code. These components are reused across the application, or even different apps within the same company, allowing faster development cycles.

  • Virtual Document Object Model (DOM) only checks parts of the UI that have changed, making it faster and more efficient than other JavaScript libraries.

  • One-way data binding ensures that any changes made by components will not affect other components in the application. It makes debugging easier and keeps your codebase clean.

  • JavaScript XML (JSX) is an XML or HTML-like syntax used to write React components. The syntax extends to the ES6 JavaScript language, so developers write components using the same syntax they use for JavaScript code.

What problems can you solve with React.js?

Just like the Night’s Watch protects the Seven Kingdoms from threats, React.js defends your application from bugs, scalability issues, and other digital wildlings. It can help you solve problems like:

  1. Building reusable UI components

  2. Enhancing existing apps with dynamic user interfaces

  3. Managing application state

  4. Collaborative development

1. Building reusable UI components

When you update a UI component, React calculates only these changes, so all the necessary elements are re-rendered. This makes it easy to build components that can be reused and shared across projects.

2. Enhancing existing apps with dynamic user interfaces

Rather than rewriting code when implementing new features, React’s component-based structure allows you to add dynamic elements to existing applications.

3. Managing application state

React makes it easy to track the state of your application—user authentication, dynamic content, and form inputs. It provides built-in support for state management, so you can manage complex data and transitions.

4. Collaborative development

The modular structure allows multiple developers to work on different aspects of the same codebase simultaneously. React ensures that each part of the code is consistent with the overall design and architecture. So if you've got a team of developers working on the same project, you can be sure that everyone’s code follows the same guidelines.

8 Best use cases of React.js for app development (with examples)

React.js can be used to develop any front-end projects, including mobile apps or web apps. Here are 8 real-world examples where React.js really shines:

  1. Marketplaces like Airbnb

  2. Virtual reality tours like Transported

  3. Enterprise-level software like Atlassian

  4. Photobook editing apps like Artifact Uprising

  5. Social media web apps like Facebook

  6. Cyber risks management platforms like CyberCube 

  7. Subscription-based streaming services like Netflix

  8. Internal sales-enablement platforms like Equinix

1. React.js marketplace: Airbnb

Airbnb, the popular vacation rental platform, was founded in 2008 and soon started gaining dedicated users. It needed a robust platform to scale and accommodate the increased demand. 

Airbnb adopted React.js for its search engine and found that it could handle dynamic filtering and display without the need for page refreshes. Later, in 2016, Airbnb implemented React Native for its mobile app development. This allowed them to reuse the React.js components and functionality, reducing development time and costs.

2. React.js virtual reality tour: Transported 

Transported is a virtual reality platform that offers immersive 360-degree tours of real estate listings. The Transported team reached out to us at NaNLABS to help them create an immersive user-friendly navigation experience similar to Google Maps and Street View.  This would mean that potential customers could visit apartments, homes, and other properties from anywhere in the world.

We built the Transported platform with React.js to ensure a smooth navigation experience for users and enable them to switch between different scenes or rooms within each property quickly. We did a cross-section of backend and frontend engineering using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, and Web GL, which helped Transported to get its product to market quicker. 

3. React.js enterprise-level software: Atlassian

Atlassian, the software development company behind popular tools like Jira and Trello, adopted React.js in 2015 to build its next-generation cloud-based platform—Atlassian Cloud. 

React.js helped Atlassian develop highly responsive and interactive user interfaces to handle the complexity and scale of its platform. For example, React.js’ modular component structure ensured consistent design and efficient code reuse across their various products. Atlassian also has an open-source library of reusable React components called Atlaskit.

4. React.js photobook editing application: Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising is an online photo printing and custom book-making company. The AU team wanted to create a fast, seamless, and responsive user experience for its editing app. The tool needed to be easy to maintain and scale since there were more products to be supported. NaNLABS took up the challenge to help keep the client’s offering fresh and up-to-date.

The editing app features a drag-and-drop interface, allowing users to customize their photo books easily. We used React.js to ensure the interface remains responsive even as users upload many high-quality, high-resolution images. React.js also allowed us to easily update and add new features to their app as the customer’s needs evolve and grow. 

5. React.js social media web app: Facebook

Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp, is also the company that created React.js. In 2011, Facebook needed an urgent code update due to the growing complexity of its Facebook Ads application and maintenance.

Meta has since used the library to create dynamic and responsive ad interfaces for various websites and mobile applications. For example, Facebook’s news feed uses React.js to render content and facilitate user interactions. Plus, Facebook uses React Native for its mobile application development— on iOS and Android.

6. React.js cyber risks management platform: CyberCube

Created by Symantec, CyberCube, a cyber risk analytics company, provides software and analytics solutions for the insurance industry. Over time, CyberCube couldn’t control the growing database, which led to slow load time and poor navigation and was impacting the user experience.

CyberCube wanted NaNLABS to co-create enterprise software for analysis and reporting as it had key projects to deliver in 3–6 months. The challenge was to create a similar user experience across the different solutions within its product suite. 

During the 3-year collaboration, the NaNLABS team worked on the front end to refactor legacy Angular.js to React.js. We also used an Atomic Design approach using Storybook, a UI development environment for building, testing, and showcasing reusable React.js components in isolation. This helped us create a set of reusable UI components across the product suite. 

7. React.js subscription-based streaming service: Netflix

Netflix uses React.js across websites, mobile apps, and TV interfaces. It adopted React.js in 2015 as part of a broader effort to improve its UI performance and user experience. The challenges Netflix wanted to solve included improving UI responsiveness, simplifying code maintenance, and enabling faster development and deployment of new features. 

React.js's component-based architecture helped Netflix maintain a consistent look and feel for users, regardless of the device or platform they were using. Netflix also uses a custom framework called Gibbon (now known as React-Gibbon), built on top of React.js and designed to make creating and managing large-scale applications easier. 

8. React.js internal sales-enablement platform: Equinix

Equinix, a global data center, helps businesses connect and manage their digital infrastructure. It built a sales enablement tool with the help of Secretly Nice, a design studio specializing in Product-Problem Alignment. This tool became a part of the core processes at Equinix, but it needed to scale as the company grew.

Secretly Nice partnered with our team at NaNLABS to stabilize Equinix’s sales enablement platform and add new features and maintenance. We refactored the legacy code to set foundations to support the upcoming development and feature implementation. 

We used React.js, Jest, and Express Framework for the front end. The result was a powerful yet user-friendly internal sales enablement tool that helped increase the user retention rate by 90% and close million-dollar deals. 

Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you.

When NOT to use React.js

You should avoid using React.js when you or your team are:

  1. Building simple projects and prototypes

  2. Dealing directly with the DOM

  3. Not familiar with SPA or JavaScript libraries

  4. Using another tech like Angular or Vue.js

1. Building simple projects and prototypes

When you want to test a concept or an idea, using React.js can be an overkill. Using plain JavaScript, HTML, and CSS or lightweight alternatives like jQuery is a better approach for smaller projects without compromising on performance. On top of that, if your developers are unfamiliar with React.js, learning it and figuring out its ecosystem might take too long to make it the best option for quick prototyping or small-scale projects.

2. Dealing directly with Virtual DOM

React.js helps optimize UI updates and state management. This often involves minimizing direct DOM interactions for better performance. So, if your project requires extensive direct manipulation of the DOM or focuses primarily on low-level DOM operations, React.js adds unnecessary overhead and complexity. We recommend using plain JavaScript for a more efficient and direct way to manipulate the DOM. 

3. Not familiar with SPA or JavaScript libraries

React.js requires a solid understanding of JavaScript and SPA concepts, such as state management, routing, and handling asynchronous requests. Plus, the JavaScript ecosystem requires familiarity with tools like Node.js, npm, and webpack. If you're not already familiar with these concepts and tools, learning and using React.js could be a significant challenge.

4. Using another tech like Angular or Vue.js

React.js, Angular, and Vue.js are all JavaScript-based front-end frameworks/libraries that serve similar purposes, but they have different design philosophies, syntax, and tooling. 

Mixing and matching different frameworks and libraries can be a good approach, like with micro frontends, but it could also make things harder to maintain. So, if you're already using another tech, stick with it and explore its capabilities further—instead of adding React.js on top of it.

How can NaNLABS help with React.js front-end development

While React.js empowers you and your team to build powerful, dynamic web applications, you don’t have to go it alone. If your team doesn't have the expertise or the resources to:

  • Manage complex data and transitions between states

  • Optimize UI updates and state management

  • Integrate React with existing front-end & back-end frameworks

  • Stay on top of the latest React.js updates

…We can help! Our large team of NaNLABS developers has over 10 years of experience in React.js development services. If you're unsure if React.js is right for your project, we can act as consultants to help you make an informed decision. Or, we'll work as an augmented team and take care of front-end designing, development, and maintenance alongside your in-house team. It’s easy to get started, just get in touch with our team.

Choose React.js development  for highly responsive UI

React.js is one of the most popular and widely used front-end frameworks thanks to its efficient rendering, modular component architecture, and strong community support. 

Companies like Facebook, Airbnb, and Atlassian have adopted React.js to build highly interactive and responsive user interfaces, while others like Equinix, CyberCube, and Artifact Uprising have built custom enterprise solutions that leverage the power of React.js.

But maintaining a React.js-based application can be challenging, especially when you or your team lack the expertise. Consider partnering with a react.js development company like NaNLABS for MVP development and beyond. We’d love to help you build, migrate and maintain high-quality React.js applications that delight your users and get big wins for your business!

Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you..

Frequently asked questions about React.js

  • Is React.js good for web development?

    React.js is a good choice for web development because of its component-based approach to building user interfaces. This makes it easier for developers to create and maintain complex web applications with fewer bugs and less code. Plus, React utilizes a virtual DOM, which improves performance by only re-rendering components that have changed instead of the whole page. 

  • What are the benefits of React.js?

    The benefits of React.js are:

    • Reusable components for faster development cycles

    • Easy to learn and use due to its simple syntax

    • Virtual DOM makes it fast and efficient 

    • Easily scalable for larger projects

    • Has great community support with plenty of third-party libraries

  • Is React.js still relevant in 2023?

    React.js is relevant in 2023 due to its popularity among developers and ability to keep up with ever-evolving web development trends. With new features like concurrent mode, React will remain a go-to language for modern web development. As long as there is a need for creating powerful and user-friendly web applications, React.js will remain a relevant framework for doing so. 

  • Which is better: React.js or Python?

    React.js and Python are powerful, popular languages with different uses in web development. React.js is a JavaScript library used for creating user interfaces, while Python is a general-purpose programming language for back-end development. For example, if you need to create a website with dynamic content and user interaction, then React.js is a better choice. But, if your project requires complex calculations or data processing tasks, then Python would be more suitable.

  • Are React.js and React Native the same?

    React.js and React Native are different technologies. React.js is a JavaScript library used for creating user interfaces and front-end logic, while React Native is a framework used to create mobile applications. While both technologies use the same language as their core—JavaScript—React.js focuses more on building web UIs, while React Native uses components that target native mobile platforms.

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