What is Flutter?
Flutter is an open-source User Interface (UI) kit for software development. It was developed by Google. Developers can use it to create android and web apps, and software for Mac, Linux, and Windows.
To give your users a good experience and also to gain a competitive edge with your app, let’s look at some of the best practices for flutter development.
Flutter Best Practices 2023
Flutter Code Structure Best Practices
The code structure behind a platform is what makes the app platform efficient. A poor code structure even when working on a fantastic app platform can still lead to a low-performing app. App developers, therefore, have to practice many Code Structure best practices to polish their coding.
Let’s look at these code structure best practices:
Follow Proper Naming Conventions
This is a piece of basic advice to developers but it is always overlooked. It may appear time-consuming at the start but overall, it will save a lot of coding and code reviewing time.
- Proper Widget Structure and Usage
Split widgets into sub-widgets. When working with a long list of widgets use ListView Builder to improve performance.
- Use Dark Code Metrics
This will help the developer improvise and monitor the overall code quality.
- Write a Clean and Reusable Code
Ensure the Flutter code is neat and presentable and whenever possible use reusable code and widgets.
Flutter Layout Best Practices
Below are Layout Best Practices:
- Have a proper Understanding of Flutter Constraints
Constraints are the minimum and maximum height and width values. Widgets get them from their parents. Understanding the constraints goes a long way in coming up with a good layout.
- Make the Flutter layout responsive with Fittedbox widget
Fittedbox widget limits the size a child widget can grow as per the available size. This makes it important in implementing a responsive design.
- Minimize Layout Passes caused by Intrinsic Operations
An ideal situation is when Flutter performs only one layout pass over its widgets. However, another pass is often needed. The number of passes has to be minimized since many passes will be harmful to the overall performance and layout of the flutter app.
Flutter Navigation Best Practices
When developing your app here as some of the Flutter navigation best practices:
- Understand the basic Flutter navigation methods
Flutter comes with an in-built routing and navigation system to ensure few navigation-related problems. A developer has to ensure they understand the basic navigation methods.
- Flutter navigation Packages
Apart from the Flutter-provided navigation and routing methods, there are Flutter routing packages that can also be used to simplify setting up routing and navigation of your app.
Flutter Project Structure Best Practices
Having a project structure makes it easy for developers when working on an app. This is even in case the development team is changed and another new set of developers starts working on the app.
Below are project structure best practices:
- Structure by list of features
When working on a project, structure it based on the list of features. This folder structure will help in the organizing and scaling of files in the features folder.
- Structure by Domain/Type
This is a common structural pattern in Flutter, where app files are structured according to their type.
Flutter Performance Best Practices
Below are some performance-based best practices to apply:
- Loading list items on demand
Most flutter developers combine Column and SingleChildScrollView when working with list items. However, when the list is larger use ListView instead to avoid the code getting messy.
- Don’t rebuild widget
The setState method of rebuilding widgets is a bottleneck when improving Flutter performance since when a user interacts with a widget the view gets refreshed affecting the scaffold, container, and background widget. Rebuild only what needs to be updated. BloC pattern or other external packages can be used.
- Use constant widgets
This a tool by Flutter, that when used to declare a widget as constant, makes it get to get activated at the compile time. This helps a developer to avoid unnecessary and excessive rebuilds.
- Use interpolation Techniques
Utilized string interpolation which will help in the improvement of code readability and reduce chances of error.
Flutter security best practices
Developers have a responsibility to ensure an app is secure to protect the users’ information. Some of the best practices to apply are:
- Code Obfuscation
This refers to tweaking the app’s binary making it difficult for humans to understand it and thus protect it from reverse engineering.
- Local Authentication
This adds a layer of authentication after screen lock and is important if an app has payment features. This can be through biometric authentication like lock code, touch ID, and fingerprint APIs.
- Protection background snapshot
When an app runs in the background, its last activity will be displayed on the multitasking screen. However, you wouldn’t want details like from your banking app to show on your background screen. This can be done using the secure_application Flutter package.
Flutter Testing Best Practices
It’s important to test an app for security, performance, and user experience to the users. Here are some best practices to implement when testing your app:
- Understand the Types of testing available with Flutter
There are many different types of tests that a developer needs to conduct when developing an app. Each test has what it wants to identify. It’s paramount that a developer understands these tests.
An example of a type of test can be to test integration, the purpose of the test is to test end-to-end experiences with mocked dependencies, and when to use the test can be for finding business logic breaks.
- Avoid bad test writing practices
This can be done by understanding and avoiding the mistakes that most developers make. Some mistakes to avoid are:
- The testing goal is unclear.
- Assertions or exceptions are absent.
- Hidden dependencies in the test.
- Make use of the ‘Given-When-Then’ Approach
This is a style of formulating Flutter tests. This helps to separate conditions logically and in an easy-to-understand manner.
Developers have to implement best practices to optimize their Flutter app Performance. The above suggestions when followed will go a long way in improving the user experience of your app. The application of these best practices may however differ from one project requirement to another. Hopefully, they will help to make your Flutter code more readable.
Finally, consider to hire flutter app developers from us who can follow flutter best practices to develop a quality apps.