CSS Frameworks for Designers

Brian Christiansen

June 18th, 2007

Jeff Croft, writing for A List Apart, throws out a suggestion to anyone developing web interfaces with CSS: frameworks can work for you, too.

Frameworks are a hot topic on the web today, names like Ruby on Rails, Django, Cake, and Prototype.js are all over the place. For the uninitiated, Jeff gives us a nice definition of a framework in the article,

[…] a set of tools, libraries, conventions, and best practices that attempt to abstract routine tasks into generic modules that can be reused. The goal here is to allow the designer or developer to focus on tasks that are unique to a given project, rather than reinventing the wheel each time around.

Jeff points out there’s no reason you can’t do this with CSS, as well. There are certainly things that you write project after project, and the use of a framework would reduce repetition and increase maintainability. It’s always nice that if someone is out sick, that another person can quickly go through their code and know where to find the part that needs a tweak. Of course, someone doesn’t need to be missing to take advantage the efficiency of a framework. Having a “self descriptive” code library provides a level of documentation to make any long term maintenance of the system far more efficient.

Are you using frameworks to speed up your work?

6 Responses to “CSS Frameworks for Designers”

  1. Andri Says:

    I use a few lines of code that I usually copy between projects. The lines include a rule to remove all margins and padding that browser style sheets force on pages and the clearfix snipet from positioniseverything.

    The first one is very easy:

    * {
    padding: 0;
    margin: 0;

  2. James Says:

    I use a set of three sheets per project; one master sheet, one IE only sheet and one print sheet. These sheets have a standard header that I copy from one project to the next, that says things like the date, author, update date, and a brief explaination of what the file is for.

    The master file includes a set of code I call “house keeping”; basic things like styles for “.help, accronym” or links and paragraphs, etc go in here and are tweaked for each project.

  3. Danny Says:

    As a UI designer I think its a great idea.
    I started to use GUUUI tool for Visio as a base for UI and found out it saves a lot of time and keep a consistency layout for my designs.
    The same principle (using frameworks) can be Implemented even for UI work 🙂

    Think about it…

  4. Stefan Says:

    I’ve got a standard css file that resets several element behaviors.

    Frameworks for css are a good thing, but i don’t think that _the one_ has been released. Maybe someone should really think about it. Maybe someone will standardize web sites. This would be a big step forward.

  5. blog.dsetia.com» Blog Archive » CSS Frameworks for Designers Says:

    […] Jeff Croft, writing for A List Apart, throws out a suggestion to anyone developing web interfaces with CSS: frameworks can work for you, too. Source: [Link] […]

  6. Nicholas Henry Says:

    One of the more popular CSS frameworks is developed by Yahoo!: http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/grids/

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