Style Your Mendix Native App

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1 Introduction

With Mendix 8, you have the capacity to alter design properties with Mendix Studio Pro. Furthermore, because all native mobile styling is written in JavaScript, you have new ways of applying your styling customizations. For more details on native styling, class names, and widget styling, see Native Styling.

2 Prerequisites

3 Customizing the Quickstart App

The Native Mobile Quickstart app is styled using an Atlas UI Resources package. This package consists of:

  • Widgets
  • Building blocks
  • Page templates
  • Page layouts

These resources let you style your app with a wide variety of interface parts. However, you can customize them further by following these steps:

  1. Place a button widget on your app’s home page:

    button

  2. Click Run locally and then click View to see your app:

    run locally

    The button is white with blue text: its default styling.

    default button

  3. Open theme/styles/mobile/custom/custom-variables.js using your IDE of choice.

  4. Change the brand.primary from #0595DB to rosybrown:

    //Brand Style
    export const brand = {
        primary: 'rosybrown',
        success: '#76CA02',
        warning: '#f99b1d',
        danger: '#ed1c24',
    };
    
  5. Save your file.

  6. Click Run locally to apply your changes:

    rosybrown button

    You have successfully altered a default button to look rosy brown.

4 Classes

Classes are groups of styling properties which define how certain elements of your app will be rendered. Once you make a class, one which applies to a button for example, you can reuse that class to easily style subsequent buttons in the same way. To learn how to apply a class to a widget, follow the steps below.

  1. Place a second button widget on your app’s home page.
  2. Run your app to view your button.
  3. Select the button widget, and then click on the Properties panel. Under Common you will see the button’s Class field.
  4. Type btnSuccess into the Class field:

    class field

  5. Click Run Locally to save and refresh your app. Notice the button turned green:

    green button

    You have successfully applied an Atlas-provided class to a button widget.

5 Design Properties

Design properties are easy-to-use classes in Mendix Studio Pro which you do not need to look up before using. Design properties are present inside Mendix Studio Pro with every widget they apply to. They can be accessed in the Properties panel, or by double-clicking the widget and clicking the Appearance tab for more advanced options. Design properties are particularly useful for creating generic styling for use on multiple widgets. Below you will use design properties to alter a button widget.

  1. Place a third button widget on your app’s home page.
  2. Select the button, and find its Design Properties in the Properties panel.
  3. Click the Button style drop-down arrow and select Warning.

    warning button

  4. Run your app again to see the design button’s new color:

    orange button

    Using design properties, you have changed the blue default button widget to orange. For any other warning buttons, you could easily apply the same design property.

6 Creating Your Own Classes

When you have specific design requirements, you will need to build custom classes to fit. To harness the power of custom classes, follow the instructions below.

  1. Place a fourth button widget on your app’s home page.
  2. Navigate to your Mendix app’s folder using your IDE.
  3. Open the theme folder of your app.
  4. Open styles/mobile/app/custom.js.
  5. Copy this code snippet into styles/mobile/custom/custom.js:

    export const className = {
        container: {
            <ViewStyle properties>
        },
        icon: {
        },
        caption: {
            <TextStyle properties>
        }
    }
    

    To alter a class on your own, consult Native Styling to understand widget structures.

  6. Apply a transparent background color to customize the the default button widget:

    export const className = {
        container: {
            backgroundColor: "transparent"
        },
        icon: {
        },
        caption: {
        }
    }
    
  7. Because your app already has default styling, you can remove the icon and caption properties. Also, change the constant to a unique, self-explanatory value such as btnBordered:

    export const btnBordered = {
        container: {
            backgroundColor: "transparent"
        },
    }
    
  8. Save your work.

  9. In Mendix Studio Pro, select your fourth button. In the Properties panel, type btnBordered into the Class field.

  10. Click Run Locally to see that your button’s background color is transparent:

    bordered button

    You have successfully customized a simple button widget. Using these basic principles, you can go on to customize widgets with distinct looks.

7 Implementing Custom Design Properties

In this section you will learn to turn the class you made into a design property, so that it can be easily used by other people.

  1. Place a fifth button widget on your app’s home page.
  2. Open settings-native.json in your IDE.
  3. Find the ActionButton class. There are already design properties in ActionButton. Next, you will add some of your own.
  4. Place this object under the first one in ActionButton:

    {
        "name": "Bordered",
        "type": "Toggle",
        "description": "Create a bordered button.",
        "class": "btnBordered"
    }
    
  5. In Mendix Studio Pro, press F4 to synchronize your project directory.

  6. Select the fifth button. In Properties > Design Properties, your Bordered design property should now be visible:

    bordered design property

  7. Enable the Bordered design property by clicking its drop-down menu and selecting Yes.

  8. Click Run Locally again and view your app:

    design properties border

    You have implemented your own custom design property. Other users can quickly harness your design property without having to consult a class name list.

Congratulations! By completing this how-to, you have learned how to alter a styling property, apply classes and design properties, and create your own classes and design properties.

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