Is Bootstrap the Future of User Interface Design?

By Robert Half on October 9, 2014 at 2:00pm

Bootstrap is a framework for the user interface design of websites and web applications and has quickly become a widely used technology.

It combines an extensive set of CSS classes and JavaScript components into a comprehensive and cohesive system. One of the great things about Bootstrap is that you can use as little or as much of it as you want. So is Bootstrap the future, and should you commit to learning it? Take a look at the following reasons why Bootstrap is becoming so popular and see if it’s right for you.

Bootstrap’s got what you need

Bootstrap addresses many common user interface design needs such as navigation elements, modal dialogs (popups) and carousels. That’s a core reason why it’s getting a lot of use from web designers and developers alike. If you learn Bootstrap, you’ll quickly realize how many websites and applications are using it for their designs.

It looks good and is easy to learn

Bootstrap allows software developers lacking significant web design experience to give their applications a fantastic look without much effort. Spending a small amount of time with a tutorial or reading through the documentation — combined with the basic templates and examples — will get you up and running. Instead of digging through search engines to learn the best way to create common screen elements or user interface components, a few CSS classes or lines of JavaScript will get you a great piece of working code with Bootstrap.

It plays well with others

Because Bootstrap is enjoying such widespread adoption, it’s becoming a de facto standard for the user interface design of websites. It helps team members stay on the same page when working on a project. Also, skills learned on one project are transferable to other projects, so instead of needing to study how each project handles their CSS, JavaScript and other design assets, developers and designers just need to know how different projects use Bootstrap.

Caveat utilitor

Let the user beware: One caution with Bootstrap is that the ease of using the example templates “as is” has resulted in a recent wave of look-alike designs. Using the customization system will go a long way toward ensuring your user interface design is a knockout instead of a knockoff. Because Bootstrap makes it simple to use design elements that used to be quite a bit of work, some elements are being overused, sacrificing usability or utility to place loads of gewgaws on the page. One common offender is the carousel, which often takes up too much room for too little content: Users often assume that it’s an advertisement and their eyes move right past it. Bootstrap has a bright future, and already has seen three major versions in its maturation process.

With so many technical advantages and a short learning curve, making the decision to learn Bootstrap is a no-brainer. Take the time to really look at Bootstrap's uses and options. Working with a good designer or learning how to make user interface design that transcends the sample templates will help you create a beautiful and unique site with Bootstrap. 

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