Interesting Read, I like your take on grid systems too, made me think. I think original designs trump frameworks anyway.
Thanks Jack, I'm surprised to see so much love for anti-framework solutions. I do have a "There is no grid" post in my Drafts at the moment, but the next one will be between a design process related one or a choosing the right company for your project one.
Frameworks make you lazy
I agree with most of your reasons for not using a framework. I hate navigating the homogenized sea of Bootstrap websites. I normally push back anytime someone proposes using a framework for a project. They contain too much bloat and often take more time to override than to start from scratch. As a result, most people end up using the stock components that come with it. Not worth it for most small projects.
They help with large projects
However, there are still strong benefits to using a framework.
Consistency in design. The grid is your friend. Without one, you end up with a bunch of ad-hoc classes with different widths/padding/margins throughout your app.
Spend less time rebuilding components - I find myself writing lots of boilerplate code for buttons, modals, styling inputs, etc. A lightweight framework can save you a lot of time.
Scalability - When you're working with a team of developers, having a well-documented codebase with clear examples of expected behavior makes it much easier to keep your code DRY and well-organized. Otherwise, you'll get unexpected behavior and lots of repeated code as developers keep adding their own classes to the code.
Maintainability - I'd actually argue that a framework is a lot more maintainable than your own code. You have a community of hundreds of thousands of people you can rely on to push updates for the latest browsers. If you write the framework yourself, you're responsible for making all those updates yourself.
Don't let them control your design
Don't get me wrong. I still design everything in Sketch first. I then translate the design to code and make it as pixel perfect as I can. I'm not advocating throwing your design away to fit the mold of Bootstrap, Foundation, or Material Design Lite.
Ah well, I'm not a fan of grid systems either, but that is for another post :)
Thanks for you really detailed reply - food for thought!
Did you mean pre-made grid systems or using a grid for web design/dev in general?
Hi Bryce, am I allowed to say both? :)
You're welcome :) I'd definitely be interested in reading your post about grid systems. I could see them being a bit limiting in terms of how you design your layouts, margins, gutter size, etc. I wonder what other pitfalls/tradeoffs there are to using/not using a grid.
Nice writeup, I am always slightly concerned when I hear a friend works for x and uses x framework but cannot answer "Why did the team choose x?".
I see a use for frameworks but more often than not a HTML/CSS framework is more trouble than it is worth if the team has a full understanding of front end development.
Thanks Shaun, its nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks that way :)