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Strategies for developing a UI Library 🍬

April 5, 2024

Strategies for developing a UI Library

After creating Pol-ui, I have some conclusions to extract strategies for developing a UI Library. This project has been quite a journey, starting from just an idea and ending up with a complete library that's ready for people to use. Along the way, I've learned a lot and picked up some important skills.

1. Define your goals

Before you start developing a UI Library, it's important to define your goals. What do you want to achieve with this library? Who is your target audience? What problems are you trying to solve? Having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish will help you stay focused and make better decisions throughout the development process.

For Pol-ui, the main goals were to create a fully complete UI Library that could be used by developers to build beautiful and consistent user interfaces and the complete customization of the components. I wanted to make it easy for developers to use the library and to provide them with all the tools they need to create great-looking interfaces.

Before touching any code, spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve with your UI Library and write down your goals. This will help you stay on track and make sure that you're building something that's actually useful.

2. Plan your components carefully

Once you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your UI Library, it's time to start planning your components. Think about the different types of components you want to include in your library and how they will work together. Consider the design patterns you want to use and how you can make your components as flexible and reusable as possible.

To make Pol-ui as flexible as possible, I decided to use a modular approach to component design. Each component is self-contained and can be easily customized using props. I also made sure to follow best practices for component design, such as using composition over inheritance and keeping components as simple as possible.

When planning your components, think about how they will be used in real-world applications and how you can make them as easy to use as possible. Try to consider all the different use cases and edge cases that might come up and make sure that your components are flexible enough to handle them.

You can visit common websites so you can learn about the most used components and how they are used. This will help you to have a better idea of what components you should include in your library.

After the planning phase, use Figma or Sketch to design your components. This will help you visualize how they will look and how they will work together.

3. Write clear documentation

One of the most important aspects of developing a UI Library is writing clear documentation. Your library could be the best in the world, but if people don't know how to use it, it won't be very useful. Make sure to document every component in your library and provide examples of how to use them.

For Pol-ui, I created a dedicated website where developers can find all the information they need to get started with the library. I included detailed documentation for each component, along with examples of how to use them in real-world applications. I also provided a getting started guide and a FAQ section to help developers troubleshoot common issues.

When writing documentation for your UI Library, try to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has never used the library before. Think about what questions they might have and what information they need to get started. Make sure to include plenty of examples and code snippets to help them understand how to use your components.

4. Test your components thoroughly

Before releasing your UI Library to the public, it's important to test your components thoroughly. Make sure to test them in a variety of browsers and devices to ensure that they work correctly in all situations. You should also test your components with different data and configurations to make sure that they are flexible enough to handle any use case. Also consider using tools like Storybook to test your components in isolation as I did with Pol-ui. Vitest or Jest are also good options to test the logicality of your components, and you can also use tools like Axe to test the accessibility of your components. Try to reach a good coverage percentage (>80%) to ensure that your components are working as expected.

5. Get feedback from the community

Finally, once you've developed your UI Library, it's important to get feedback from the community. Share your library with other developers and ask for their opinions. Listen to their feedback and use it to improve your library. You can also consider creating a GitHub repository for your library and accepting contributions from the community.

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