How to Achieve Better UI with CSS Grid Layouts

July 16, 2019

The CSS Grid Layout is a layout system that allows us to create complex, responsive web design layouts and user interfaces easily and consistently across browsers.

There’s a myriad of factors that your average consumer will judge your UI design on, both consciously and unconsciously. It needs to be neat, comprehensive, sensible, intelligent, considerate, and so on so forth. Even an inexperienced app user can get a gut feeling that something just isn’t quite right with a poorly designed UI.

The UI is the first thing every consumer interacts with when they open an app. It tracks, then, that every app’s UI needs to leave a good first impression, as well as continual high-quality service, or else you’ll find that those users will disappear.

Proper design, like in architecture, graphic work, and essays, are both an artform and a technical skill combined into a single discipline. Creating a structure that caters to the needs of the user while fundamentally exercising a fluid, supportive structure that exercises the best aspects of an app may sound challenging, but the process itself is deceivingly simple.

Reducing it to its base components, achieving better UI design comes down to one rule: stick to the established processes. There’s not much call to reinvent the wheel, so you don’t need to stress about creating anything from scratch. That’s why we’re here to help you achieve a better UI design with a CSS grid layout.

What Is a Grid?

Basic questions first: what is a grid exactly? Not a lot of this will be helpful if you don’t have a clear picture in mind of what we’re talking about, after all.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re well acquainted with the concept of grids as a design structure already. You’re used to them everyday in functionally everything you use. The UI layout of the apps on your phone, the structure of every story in the newspaper, the placement of every building in city planning, and the framing of all those famous Renaissance paintings all abide by a grid structure. If you’ve ever used a ruled notebook in school, then you have firsthand experience with a grid system.

That last example isn’t quite the same, but it was among the first early “grid” designs, so credit where credit is due.

A grid for web design and development draws on the same principles, but adapted to suit the needs of a technology-based interface. In web development, the grid serves as the framework for the page’s layout. There are many different types of grids that can be used, all with different purposes, but they all have three fundamental rules in common:

Provide order, connectedness and reinforce hierarchy. Aid design and scalability by providing a set of predefined rules. Answer questions like “where should this go.”

What Is CSS Grid Layout?

Web design previously worked off the 12 column grid system. However, while it served its purpose in the grand scheme of web development, web design that was based off of the 12 column grid system grew stagnant up to a certain point. With the CSS grids, we now have more capacity to design and create in a more interesting and flowing way than the previous system ever could have allowed.

The CSS Grid Layout is a two-dimensional layout system that allows web developers and designers to create complex, responsive web design layouts and user interfaces more easily and consistently across browsers. Before the CSS grid system came along, most of the layouts designers had to use were hacked together to pull off the envisioned final product.

It’s similar in respects to flexbox, an alternative layout system. However, flexbox has always been more of a one-dimensional layout, whereas the CSS grid is two-dimensional, offering much more control over horizontal and vertical aspects of the layout. There is now, with this new grid, a dedicated system for creating web pages without having to resort to hacks and tricks that would leave out vital functionality.

The CSS Grid Layout allows designers to change the location of page elements as needed at different breakpoints without compromising a sensible, structured document for the responsive design. You’re capable of achieving better functionality without sacrificing other visual aspects.

Each element has a specific area on the grid, meaning there’s no risk of overlapping due to smaller viewports, text, or content size changes. Items can be layered, even overlapping one another if required. You have the leniency and ability to customize without compromise. By allowing authorized room for adjustment and design, web developers are free to create web pages without constant workarounds and headaches.

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