How I explore front end frameworks

By Todd Wilson January 16, 2019

The front end web design landscape is evolving at such a fast pace and learning new frameworks is a selective process for me. This becomes a highly selective process as we only have a limited time to apply these new design trends and adopting new frameworks as we learn.

Being Inspired and Recreating Layouts

In my opinion, to rapidly learn a new CSS framework is by reproducing a design or layout. I’ve find myself being inspired by various design trends and will recreate designs from time to time. Most often, I do try and find practical ways I can apply those design efforts to other projects or open source.

At times however, it’s okay to just create and design unnecessarily. I can refine the design process as I explore a new framework with a design. I find myself abstracting the user interface with a component mindset which is a pattern I’m also adopting to in my projects.

A lot of CSS frameworks include components that I may not even require for a given project. In some cases, you can selectively specify the modules or components you need, which will create a much smaller footprint during the build process.

Utility-First CSS

A new shiny object to hit the CSS framework scene is Tailwind (yes, another CSS framework). I’m still exploring this approach to design and composition by using utility classes and configuration. In this exploration, I’m finding other developer insights useful, such as this article “Coming around to Utility-first CSS”.

As I explore this framework, it gives new opportunity to create and enhance my design and development process. I’m inspired by how other designers and developers also leverage this in their own projects. It also helps when I can reflect on those design experiences with creatives around me.

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