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Style Guide Driven Development with React

Style guides and pattern libraries are a great collaboration and communication tool in cross-functional teams. These tools have many names and variations (see styleguides.io), but in this post I’ll just call them style guides. Essentially they break down the user interface into its component parts, and serve as a resource for new designers and developers to locate existing patterns for further use. Decoupling the UI from application data, and splitting the UI into components often results in a more consistent and efficient UI for users.

Architecting CSS for Responsive Large Scale Applications

CSS is often regarded as a second-class citizen in web development. It doesn’t always get the same level of attention as JavaScript does. The problem is that CSS is flat, global and unstructured by nature, so developers need to create and enforce systematic conventions for writing it. Many developers are opinionated and under tight deadlines, so without an agreed set of rules the team commits to, CSS can spiral out of control very quickly. A good design system provides meaning for designers and developers, making development easier and more maintainable in the long term. It’s almost like building with LEGO bricks!

Enforce stylesheet conventions with Stylelint

CSS linting has been gaining traction lately. I’ve used CSSLint the last years in some of my projects. Then, a while ago I found out about stylelint and realised it’s the best tool for the job, together with PostCSS. Stylelint is a really good mistake-preventing machine as it helps you enforce consistent conventions.

Accessibility Testing Tools

Designing and developing with accessibility in mind is hard. That’s why people have created tools to visualize potential accessibility issues and automate some of the testing tasks. As accessibility is such a huge topic, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. We need to use multiple tools for testing accessibility, and none of these tools can fully replace human judgment.

My 2015

I haven’t written end of year accounts regularly but this time I thought I’d write one for 2015. Working as front-end developer involves lots of changes on a regular basis as the community keeps pushing the boundaries. It’s been a busy year!