Frontend Architecture for Design Systems
A Modern Blueprint for Scalable and Sustainable Websites
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: January 2016
Pages: 198

Imagine what a large-scale web project would look like if frontend development were not treated as an add-on, but as an equal partner with backend development and content strategy. This practical book takes experienced web developers through the new discipline of frontend architecture, including the latest tools, standards, and best practices that have elevated frontend web development to an entirely new level.

Using real-world examples, case studies, and practical tips and tricks throughout, author Micah Godbolt introduces you to the four pillars of frontend architecture. He also provides compelling arguments for developers who want to embrace the mantle of frontend architect and fight to make it a first-class citizen in their next project.

The four pillars include:

  • Code: how to approach the HTML, CSS, and JavaScript of a design system
  • Process: tools and processes for creating an efficient and error-proof workflow
  • Testing: creating a stable foundation on which to build your site
  • Documentation: tools for writing documentation while the work is in progress
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oreillyFrontend Architecture for Design Systems
 
3.9

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

71%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Concise (3)
  • Helpful examples (3)

Cons

  • Not comprehensive enough (3)

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (5)
  • Novice (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (6)

Reviewed by 7 customers

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5.0

A new step for front-end developers to become architects

By boogie

from Madrid, Spain

About Me Developer, Full Stack Dev

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate

    Comments about oreilly Frontend Architecture for Design Systems:

    very nice book with a "real" work flow based on his experience.
    You can read chapters separated to focus on what you are into at that time.

     
    5.0

    Great Overview

    By Gregg

    from Denver, CO

    About Me Developer, Manager

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Overview

      Comments about oreilly Frontend Architecture for Design Systems:

      This is a great overview of what worked for Red Hat, and could be easily adapted to anyone's workflow. There are even chapters about looking at the workflow.

      But if you are looking for detailed instructions on how to set up the tools mentioned, they really aren't here. I am ok with that, at the level of understanding the approach, having the implementation details would be a distraction. I'm sure each tool has books to deal with them in depth.

       
      5.0

      The perfect introduction to a budding discipline

      By Justin

      from Olympia, WA

      About Me Designer, Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Perfect Introduction
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Leader
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly Frontend Architecture for Design Systems:

        I've started up a new UX Team where I work, and this book arrived at just the right time. Our small team is made up of designers and developers coming from various divisions and with equally varied skillsets. This book mostly focuses on the 30,000-foot view of a new kind of technical role that sits somewhere between front-end and back-end developers. I found it helpful for establishing a common baseline for what my team can expect, and a blueprint for areas to experiment with as we begin to create a new design system at an established organization.

        The book is divided neatly into four "pillars", some of which require a bit more technical expertise than others. Some of the material was very familiar to me, but much of it was new. I expect that's where teams will find the value, in establishing a common ground and sparking conversations. Each pillar could easily be a jumping off point into a much deeper world, but I nevertheless appreciate the brevity of this book. It has me excited for what the future will hold for our team.

         
        4.0

        A guideline for the modern front-end workflow

        By Cristiano Rastelli

        from London

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Pragmatic

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly Frontend Architecture for Design Systems:

        As declared in the cover subtitle, this book is a concise "blueprint", a starting point where you can have a detailed overview of what a modern front-end developer should know to manage with confidence and competence a web project at scale (but the same principles and approaches can easily be applied to small/medium websites too).

        It's about defining a process, finding the right strategy - tailored on the team and the project scope - to build a complex large website. So it's perfect as shared guideline for a team, as well as a general reference for software architects or project managers that need to better understand the modern front-end workflow.

        I liked the very pragmatic approach. Not only the constant references to the Red Hat project, showing the theory being put in practice in a real-world case. Not only the care explaining the "whys" behind the technical or architectural decisions. But also the choice to propose alternative approaches that don't necessarily follow the self-proclaimed "best practices" (one above all, the naming strategy for CSS components).

        Well organised and easy to read (I've devoured it during a plane trip), covers almost everything a front-end developer is expected to know nowadays: the triad HTML/CSS/JavaScript, the tooling and processing pipeline, the testing and performance issues, the adoption of a self-documenting style guide.

        Don't expect a technical manual, which is not the purpose of the book.

        (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        excellent overview of modern front end tech

        By elyse

        from Austin, TX

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Cutting Edge
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly Frontend Architecture for Design Systems:

          Micah has a great sense of how to build a scalable site with modern tech. There's tons of great and new ideas in here about how to test, visual diff, and organize a big site. Maybe not as useful for devs working on mostly-static or content-based client sites, but phenomenal for large products/e-commerce/apps that are being constantly worked on. I especially like his chapter on schema driven design to help determine what your templates and styles should have. Solid and very useful concept! Can be mentally challenging to read and process all the great ideas at once but I know I'll be coming back to this over and over.

          (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Only 1 or 2 chapters of note

          By Solution Guy

          from UK

          About Me Designer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Not comprehensive enough

            Best Uses

            • Novice

            Comments about oreilly Frontend Architecture for Design Systems:

            There was 1 or 2 chapters that pinged my interest. Went to the books online content, but didn't find a comprehensive solution that I could study. Very disappointed, definitely not worth the money

            (2 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

             
            2.0

            "Too much whiz and not enough bang"

            By Sofia

            from Greece

            About Me Developer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

              Cons

              • Not comprehensive enough
              • Too basic

              Best Uses

                Comments about oreilly Frontend Architecture for Design Systems:

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