Dust off your inner designer with tailwindcss

Constantin Druc • November 23, 2018

Designing UIs is hard, especially if you’re a backend developer. When bootstrap came along everybody was cheering - finally something we can use! No more wasted hours on fiddling out the interface. Look up the documentation, copy&paste the examples and adjust to your needs. It simplified everything for the non-designers.

But it also crippled our already modest design skills. It made us lazy.

Bootstrap is a component-based framework, everything that comes out of it looks and feels the same. Forms, buttons, alert screens, proportions, modals, everything. Before bootstrap, we were at least trying to make things look nice. Now we’re just changing a few variables here and there and pretend it’s different. It's not.

Tailwind doesn’t have any pre-built components. You have to unleash your inner designer everytime you want to build something new.

Prototyping with tailwind is slower. Painfully slow in the first days. You have to always have the documentation by your side to look stuff up. There are so many utility classes!

But hold in there. Once those few days have passed, everything gets easier. I would even argue that tailwind has a shorter learning curve than bootstrap - because you type in every class on your own, rather than copying&pasting full blocks of code from one place to another. All those tiny utility classes get ingrained in your memory real quick.

About the clones you end up with by using bootstrap, yes, you might say that it comes down to laziness and lack of creativity. That you can choose to use as much, or as little from the framework.

And I agree.

But I, for one, do not mind being pushed towards becoming more creative. And tailwind does just that.

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