Anyone using UI design frameworks?

Hi, I’m Jane from UI Breakfast and I help founders solve their business problems with design!

So I’m doing plenty of product research these days, and it turns out there’s a plethora of tools that should really ease developer’s life (without bringing a designer on board). At least, using some templates/frameworks for standard functions (login, account settings, payments etc).

It seems there are plenty different angles. For example, Paddle handles almost all routines for a desktop app. Designmodo has really pretty UI kits. And these are just random examples. Not to mention common-place front-end frameworks like Bootstrap, Foundation by ZURB, SemanticUI, UIkit, etc.

So my question is, are you using any similar frameworks to solve your “design” problem and cut your design costs? Or do you prefer the good old oDesk process? Or a combination of both? Or do you just not bother and leave the app look “as-is”?

I use a combination of Bootstrap for the basics, and my wonderful (and wonderfully affordable) Hungarian designer via oDesk (oops, Upwork) for specific piecework I can’t (or won’t) do myself.

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Yeah, but none of them are really good, and still leave too much tweaking. I’ve just given up and stick to Wordpress for everything now.

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Thank you @SteveMcLeod — this makes perfect sense. I’m glad you found a rare brilliant amont Upwork’ers :slight_smile:

I have really gone off WP - marketing site was running WP with no complicated plugins etc and a fairly simple page layout and page load time was over 7 seconds. I spent the last week or so rewriting it in HTML on the same server and it now loads in less than 900ms with actually more content.

From here on WP is for blogs for me, not for sites - just my opinion.

Thank you @shantnu and @natural for the replies. My question had a bit different, not development but aesthetic angle to it — do you use templates or frameworks instead of hiring a designer? To make things actually look good.

I use templates/frameworks, but only because I’ve never needed to hire a designer.

If I was doing a proper app, and needed a cool website (and had the money), I’d just pay for someone to do the design, cause I absolutely hate most of these frontend frameworks.

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Hey @SteveMcLeod would you mind sharing the details of your designer? We’re on the hunt for one!

Personally I’m doing things myself also I kinda suck at design. But I can’t afford a real designer, so I’m just adapting whatever bits I like from different designs from sites similar to what I’m trying to do. I’m lucky that these days is trendy do have simple and somehow flat design. I can come up with something decent enough which is easy enough to implement too.

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I (well, my developer actually) use Bootstrap. Thinking about hiring a UI designer to make it better. But for now, Bootstrap still gets the job done pretty well.

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Hi Jane, I’m using Bootstrap in my Web App, Clibu and it looks ok’ish but at the same time it looks like Bootstrap and therefore at first glance like other apps that use Bootstrap. Some may say this is a good thing, but I now feel it is best to have a bit of a unique look and feel.

I’ve recently been having a close look at Google’s Material Design. The documentation they’ve put together is awesome. So now I’m tweaking my UI to include new (web) components I’m writing with a MD look and feel. I’ve only just started with Web components and am super pleased at what they bring to the table. I’m hoping to have a new release of Clibu out next week with these UI changes.

Unfortunately like many dev’s I’m not great at realy nice design.

@nevf Thank you for the insight! Google indeed are doing amazing things (and produce amazing documents). But it must be tough for a non-designer to apply them, nonetheless. Good luck with your next iteration of Clibu!

Offtopic: we’ve seen similar guidelines for Android. And I’m yet to meet a person who’d clearly understand what to do with an Android UI — both in terms of design and usage :slight_smile:

@uibreakfast I think we’ll see more and more Android Apps adopt Material Design for their UI. Google is moving to MD for their Android Apps. I’ve recently changed my Podcast App to “Pocket Casts” which is a really nice implementation of MD.

Also checkout where you will see lots of nice Android MD designs.

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I use Kingadmin Bootstrap Theme, for one thing. Pretty much removes a need for designer, at least for this one application.

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@rfctr Oh yes, this looks really good! Glad you’re making good use of it. I think the power of themes (quality themes) is grossly underestimated.