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Fluent UI Design System Best Practices You Need to Know

April 11, 2023
6 min read
Fluent UI Design System Best Practices You Need to Know

In my last blog on Fluent Design systems, we gave a general overview of the Microsoft Fluent UI as a design system. At a high level, Microsoft created the Fluent UI to help developers and designers create consistent, intuitive, and accessible user interfaces across their products. It is built on modern design principles, including simplicity, clarity, and consistency, and supplies a comprehensive set of guidelines and tools to create high-quality user experiences.

If you have spent any time building digital products and solutions online, you already know the value design systems can bring to your team. Where it gets more challenging is the practical side of implementing these patterns into your work. 

In this blog post, we will explore some key considerations and best practices to keep in mind when working with the Fluent UI design system.

Understand the core principles of Fluent UI

The 5 platforms of Fluent UI

Fluent UI is an open source project that celebrates internal and external contributions. Before you start using Fluent UI, it is essential to understand the core principles and design guidelines that underpin the system. These include concepts such as typography, color, layout, and interaction patterns, as well as accessibility and inclusivity considerations. Microsoft provides extensive documentation on these topics, so take the time to read it and familiarize yourself with the fundamental principles.

Using components from our Fluent UI React (web), Fluent UI Apple (iOS and macOS), and Fluent UI Android GitHub libraries ensures our Microsoft 365 apps and services remain powerful tools while feeling more intuitive and coherent across platforms. With the addition of our new Fluent UI React Native library, we’re creating cross-platform components — making it easier for JavaScript developers to deliver experiences across devices to customers more quickly. For developers building native Windows experiences, WinUI continues to embody the Fluent Design System.

Some of the core principles of Fluent UI include the following:

Intuitive and familiar

Consistent and familiar UI  is achieved in the new Teams via Fluent UI

Fluent UI is designed to be familiar to users of Microsoft products, but it also incorporates modern design principles that make it intuitive and easy to use. Users should be able to quickly understand how to use the interface without requiring extensive training or documentation.


Examples of Fluent React Components

Fluent UI supplies a comprehensive set of design guidelines and tools to ensure that interfaces are consistent across Microsoft products and services. This consistency helps users feel comfortable and confident when using various products, reducing confusion and frustration. These components ensure that interfaces look and function the same way across different platforms and applications, reducing confusion and enhancing the user experience.


Fluent UI is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate different scenarios and use cases. Although it supplies pre-designed components, it also offers the flexibility to customize and extend them to meet specific design and functionality needs. This means that the system provides a range of components and styles that can be customized and adapted to meet the particular needs of different products and services.

These core principles matter because they help ensure Fluent UI interfaces are effective, efficient, and engaging. By following these principles, designers and developers can create interfaces that are easy to use, accessible, and consistent, ultimately leading to better user experiences. The core principles of Fluent UI also help reduce development time and costs by supplying a set of design guidelines and tools that can be used across assorted products and services.


The Fluent UI component library saves time and effort for designers and developers by providing a comprehensive set of UI components that are ready to use. This reduces the need for designing and developing custom components from scratch, which can be time-consuming and costly.


Designed from the ground up with accessibility in mind, it ensures that all UI components meet accessibility guidelines, such as color contrast, keyboard navigation, and screen reader support, which is a huge bonus that we can all benefit from. This helps ensure that interfaces are usable by everyone, including those with disabilities. Fluent UI incorporates accessibility guidelines such as color contrast, keyboard navigation, and screen reader support.


Variations and formatting are made into patterns for re-use in software development and design

As Microsoft continues to update and improve Fluent UI, the component library will continue to evolve, ensuring that interfaces built using the library stay up to date with the latest design trends and best practices. This helps future-proof user interfaces and reduces the need for extensive redesigns and updates in the future.


Examples of Fluent UI Apps

Fluent UI is designed to be responsive to different device sizes and screen resolutions. This means that the interface should look and function well on desktop and mobile devices and adapt to different screen sizes without sacrificing usability.

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Flexible and open system of UI components

These components are designed and tested to work well together, so using them can help ensure consistency and ease of use for your users. Be sure to use the components and styles as intended and avoid customizing them too heavily, as this can lead to inconsistency and confusion.

Stay up to date with Fluent UI updates

A designer working at their desk creating a mobile app

Finally, staying updated with changes to Fluent UI is essential. Microsoft regularly releases new components, styles, and guidelines, and keeping up to date with these updates can help you stay on top of the latest design trends and best practices. Be sure to check the Fluent UI website and documentation regularly and join the community forums to stay informed and share your experiences.

Microsoft Fluent UI is an excellent design system for creating consistent, intuitive, and accessible user interfaces. By following the principles and best practices outlined in this blog post, you can ensure that your designs are effective, user-friendly, and meet the needs of your users.

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