Have you ever encountered a lovely website and wondered how exactly they made it happen? It was perfectly laid out. The buttons attracted our attention and worked when you clicked them. At one point or another, you wished you were the one who designed that website.
So it’s not easy.
How do you get better at it?
We’ll list 5 simple tips that work for all front-end developers.
1. It All Starts With a Good Plan
Even senior developers make this mistake: they start developing the project without making a good plan.
Sure; planning takes some time. You assume you’d save time if you simply start working and see where your skill and creativity takes you. That’s not the right approach to have. Without a plan, it’s highly likely to mess things up, so you’ll have to go back to previous steps and fix things.
A great plan actually saves you time. You know exactly where this is going and you plan the steps that get you there. Don’t worry; there’s still enough space for creativity. However, you won’t allow any digressions to occur. Plus, you’ll plan your daily schedule in a way that allows you to complete the project through stages and finish it on time.
To make the planning process simpler, you can use some of these tools:
- Workflowy – it helps you brainstorm and organize your ideas.
- Trello – it’s perfect for a front-end development team. It helps the team leader coordinate all members, delegate tasks, and get feedback on the progress.
- Writemaps – this is an actual tool for planning a website. It helps you make clear sitemaps, share them with your team or client, and start organizing content.
2. Get Inspired
Is this an advanced tip? It sure is! It doesn’t matter what “level” you reached as a front-end developer. The possibility to get stuck is always there. You had a few ideas but none of them is good enough. You sit in front of the computer, ready to start working. You try a few things. You can’t get to a place where you want to be.
That’s called a mental block, and it usually occurs when you burn out.
At such moment, taking a look at really great websites can save you. Just as an example, here are few websites to check out:
We specifically chose websites from the same industry to list as examples. They offer the same types of services, yet they are very different when you compare them.
Of course; you won’t copy the design when you check out websites to get inspirations. But a certain feature may motivate you to change something about your concept. A single spark will get your creative forces going.
3. Keep the Single Responsibility Principle to Mind at All Times
You know the single responsibility principle. When you were learning how to code, the courses constantly reminded you of it. Great code requires one main quality: it’s maintainable. When every object in the code has one function, even with CSS, maintenance is easy.
As you become more advanced in your practices, you tend to avoid this principle. But then if something breaks, you’ll have a hard time tracing back through the code to discover and fix the problem.
Remind yourself of the single responsibility principle. Always!
4. Testing and Debugging – Major Skills to Develop
You don’t know how to code until you master the testing and debugging process. Explore unit testing frameworks, which give you a specific method for testing individual blocks of source code.
Acceptance testing is also important. You have to continuously check if the website behaves as you want it to behave when users take actions.
As for the bugs, they will attack you whether you like it or not. It’s your debugging skills that determine how effective you are when dealing with them.
These are your problem-solving skills, which are an essential factor in your job description as a front-end developer.
5. Achieve Pixel-Perfect Accuracy
PerfectPixel is a browser extension that allows you to make sure everything lines up down to the last pixel. That’s possible by putting a semi-transparent image overlay on top of the page and comparing the two of them.
There are no image size restrictions, and the tool supports multiple overlays.
If you want an alternative, PixelParallel is a similar Chrome extension to use for the same purpose.
Most of All: Stay Curious!
A great front-end developer is a curious front-end developer. This is someone who explores new techniques, plugins, and languages on a daily basis. It’s not a person who accumulates a certain base of knowledge and sticks to it. It’s someone who keeps growing no matter how advanced they become.
Stay curious! That’s the ultimate tip for an advanced front-end developer.