case study

Using a CSS Framework in a
Large Organization

So the other day Tadd linked up some work in progress code which hinted that we are using the Blueprint CSS framework in some of our sites under development.

This decision went through many heated debates internally where some were excited for it, and others were repulsed.

So what were the reasons behind the need for looking into a framework?

We have 30+ designers who occasionally have to tag team projects, take over projects from others or help out for a short time. When every project is coded to a given designers personal style it can cause a lot of ramp up time to help or take over.

We have some designers who are HTML/CSS guru’s and can pick up anything and understand it pretty quickly. Others are not as able to so easily decode others work in a short time frame.

As a result, using a framework came up as a way to allow all skill levels to more easily understand a given projects code.

Reasons I gave for adopting a CSS framework:

  1. It helps to get you up and running quickly with standard components that have what you need for general site structure
  2. It allows for easier sharing of code as you can grab examples from others work and it should work on your files without the need for significant changes
  3. It also allows for others to more easily jump in and help as they will be familiar with the structure
  4. When taking over a project (projects rarely start and end with the same IxD) the ramp up time will be significantly less if you don’t have to learn a new structure and the previous IxD’s personal style

I am genuinely interested in hearing suggestions from the community as to how the above can be addressed without a framework. Creating a or church specific set of code to start from is the same thing as a framework in my mind, so then the argument would be against Blueprint not frameworks.

I can definitely understand being anti-framework for your personal work when you are the only person working on it. But when you need to get 30+ designers on relatively the same page, what options do you have? Other then only hiring HTML/CSS guru’s which isn’t practical.

Yes this discussion has been discussed many times by Jeff Croft and followers, but it’s worth another round specific to a large organization :)

posted by Aaron Barker on Friday, Nov 21, 2008
tagged with css, frameworks, blueprint