Does anyone here actually use UI kits?

5 months ago from Matt K, Head of Design

  • Jon MooreJon Moore, 5 months ago

    I'm biased because I'm one of those UI kit creators, but I absolutely could not do my job without the kit I've created.

    I've used it every single day for 2 years for dozens and dozens of client projects. It has saved me thousands of hours of work.

    The distinction I make between UI kits and what I call a starter kit is that my starter kit is much more akin to a boilerplate like Bootstrap.

    I spent a ton of time perfecting the basic elements and components of a design system, constructing everything with styles and symbols. When I start a new project, it might only take me 20 minutes to customize the system to look the way I want it to look, then I'm ready to start building pages.

    It's a fantastic place to start. It eliminates 100% of the set up work, and gets me about 90% of the elements and elements I'd ever need.

    UI kits are usually overly stylized, or too designed toward a particular use case. If you're not designing that very specific music app, then it's a useless UI kit. And don't get me started on how poorly they're constructed from a layer/naming/organization standpoint. They're all show, but no support.

    If you're interested, can check out the system I designed called UX Power Tools.

    We're gearing up for a massive update in the next week or two with detailed documentation and usage examples...all tied directly to symbols and styles. As you make updates to colors, fonts, and symbols, 35+ pages of documentation update automatically.

    0 points
    • Tait BrownTait Brown, 5 months ago

      I didn't downvote, I'm only reading this now at -4 votes. My guess is people are probably reading this as self-promotion or spam. Shrugs.

      1 point
    • Mike StevensonMike Stevenson, 5 months ago

      Hey Jon,

      I've checked out Power Tools before but I never pulled the trigger because I didn't see what it included for the price that's different or better than other UI kits.

      I'll admit I don't use them often, but it seems like yours is pretty bare bones in that it allows a lot of creative freedom when making customized designs. Kind of like a boos-trap for Sketch.

      Can you explain why yours is different/better than other kits?


      1 point
      • Jon MooreJon Moore, 5 months ago

        Hey Mike,

        We've designed an intentionally vanilla system more akin to Bootstrap because every business has different needs, a different brand, and different requirements.

        UX Power Tools is a collection of ingredients, not prepackaged meals.

        At our agency, we use it every time we start a new client engagement. We spend a hour or two customizing it to fit their brand and/or matching their existing product (down to specific button and field styles), then jump right into production design. Because it's built with styles and symbols, it's incredibly scalable and easy to maintain.

        Last month, a client wanted to update the font and brand colors of the entire app. Our designers used to have to spend days updating hundreds of screens. Now they make a couple changes on the style sheet in UXPT and the changes cascade throughout the file. What took days literally takes minutes.

        We don't want our designers wasting time recreating the same components over and over again. So we built them perfectly (for us) once, and reuse it over and over and over again, making tweaks to fit the client's needs at hand.

        Here's a peek at our forthcoming update.

        -1 points
    • Bart S, 5 months ago

      It's downvoted because half of your post is self promotion. You even put extra attention on the link to your product by making it bigger and bold.

      -3 points
      • Mike A.Mike A., 5 months ago

        What happened to DN that it is wrong to talk about stuff you create? Jon's comment was relevant, he has a HUGE experience in this area and I don't understand why it gets downvoted.

        6 points
        • Jon MooreJon Moore, 5 months ago

          It’s okay. I appreciate your kindness. I took an opportunity to share something I created and it came across as too self-involved.

          It can be pretty discouraging though as it relates to sharing anything you create though. I can only hope my contributions to the community help at least someone do their job a little better, or work a little smarter.

          Thanks for your comment, Mike.

          0 points
        • Bart S, 5 months ago

          I'm not trying to downplay his product in any way, I actually used UX Power Tools a long time ago myself and I liked it. Hell if I think of UI kits, UX Power Tools is one of the first that comes to mind since I've seen it everywhere for quite a long time already. But if I'm looking for genuine opinions on why I would use something, I wouldn't be interested in hearing a creator of that something praise his product to me. Of course he's going to tell me it's awesome and the best and it improves his workflow in every single way possible. Why wouldn't he?

          If I'm asking 'why would I watch TV on a TV screen and not on my phone?' and Philips would respond 'well we've watched countless of hours of TV on our TV's and it's been awesome looking at our HD 4k screens because they're the best' it wouldn't make sense to me either.

          I do have to mention that the big self promotion link has been edit and toned down aswel since I posted my comment.

          2 points
    • Francezka KuwalskaFrancezka Kuwalska, 5 months ago

      Not losing any last chance to put the link to your average product. And there's nothing related to UX, you're misleading a user

      -4 points
      • Jon MooreJon Moore, 5 months ago

        Could you explain what you mean by your last sentence?

        0 points
        • Selv Grimm, 5 months ago

          I think I can take that: What part of the package has anything to do with UX? It's all just visual elements of various quality. I don't even see anything about the context in which a specific element should be used, guidelines etc. And yet you call it a "UX Power Tools" which suggests some kind of Design Language/System, with study backed patterns of interaction, best practises for personas etc. Anything that would be usefull or even usable from a UX Design perspective.

          0 points
          • Jon MooreJon Moore, 5 months ago


            I appreciate your tact and thoughtful response. Thanks for sharing your opinions.

            In my personal view, the design community has taken up a great deal of gatekeeping around design terminology. They spend more time arguing about "what is" and "what isn't" than they do improving their craft. There was never any intention to mislead anyone. It's simply our name for a collection of tools that will help you spend less time fiddling with UI so you can spend more time on the user experience.

            1 point