We present GALEX far-ultraviolet (FUV) and near-ultraviolet (NUV) as well as SDSS g, r, i photometry and structural parameters for the Herschel Reference Survey, a magnitude-, volume-limited sample of nearby galaxies in different environments. We use this unique dataset to investigate the ultraviolet (UV) structural scaling relations of nearby galaxies and to determine how the properties of the UV disk vary with atomic hydrogen content and environment. We find a clear change of slope in the stellar mass vs. effective surface brightness relation when moving from the optical to the UV, with more massive galaxies having brighter optical but fainter UV surface brightnesses than smaller systems. A similar change of slope is also seen in the radius vs. surface brightness relation. By comparing our observations with the predictions of a simple multi-zone chemical model of galaxy evolution, we show that these findings are a natural consequence of a much more efficient inside-out growth of the stellar disk in massive galaxies. We confirm that isophotal radii are always a better proxy for the size of the stellar/star-forming disk than effective quantities and we show that the extent of the UV disk (normalized to the optical size) is strongly correlated to the integrated Hi gas fraction. This relation still holds even when cluster spirals are considered, with Hi-deficient systems having less extended star-forming disks than Hi-normal galaxies. Interestingly, the star formation in the inner part of Hi-deficient galaxies is significantly less affected by the removal of the atomic hydrogen, as expected in a simple ram-pressure stripping scenario. These results suggest that it is the amount of Hi that regulates the growth of the star-forming disk in the outskirts of galaxies. © 2012 ESO.