Driving Productivity and Business Success with Custom Component Libraries
By Jerry Hill

Learn how a composable design system tied to a custom library can enhance front-end development.

Composable architecture is transforming how companies manage their online presence as it decouples large and complex systems into small, more manageable components. As teams increasingly look to build rich applications with less effort, we should expect to hear more about custom component libraries – a tool that can be used to streamline the development of a comprehensive design system.

Understanding Component Libraries

So, what is a component library? It’s a collection of pre-built user interface (UI) components that easily integrates into your website or application. Today, UI design is more important than ever. People expect a smooth and straightforward experience while using a web application, and UI can either make or break that experience. Component libraries break down UI into small elements, like buttons and navigation bars, to create consistency across web assets and improve user experience.

Two main types of component libraries exist today:

Pre-built component libraries are UI elements available through JavaScript frameworks such as React. These components are open-source and free to access. While they can range in complexity, pre-built libraries are typically used to implement common UI patterns. This can save developers significant time and effort as they don’t have to build the components from scratch.

Custom component libraries are built by in-house teams or developers you hire. These components give companies the flexibility to evolve their branding across various platforms. While more expensive than pre-built solutions, custom libraries give developers greater control over component reusability and performance optimization.

Advantages of Building a Custom Component Library

While pre-built libraries are often sufficient, they don’t always meet the specific design and/or functionality requirements of your project. In this instance, custom libraries allow you to tailor the components to fit your exact needs across all platforms. Here are some of the benefits of building a custom component library:

  1. Standardized UI elements ensure consistency across a website or application’s different pages and sections. Not only does this make it easier for developers to maintain the same structure and design across platforms, but it builds a cohesive user experience and reduces the risk of inconsistencies that detract from the overall site experience.
  2. By turning UI functions into reusable components, developers can quickly implement a wide range of elements onto a website or application. This significantly reduces the effort required to build a page and gives developers the time to focus on more complex tasks.
  3. Custom libraries make it easier to scale a website. Rather than completely rewriting code, custom libraries give teams the flexibility to change or update components to keep up with evolving designs and user preferences.
  4. By establishing a set of guidelines, custom libraries help design and development teams work together more effectively by minimizing communication overhead and reducing the number of misunderstandings that can lead to errors in the final product.

Is a Custom Component Library Right for You?

When deciding if a custom component library is the right fit for your project, it’s important to consider all the factors involved in its development. Some of these factors include project complexity, budget, reusability, and your level of support for new frameworks and ongoing maintenance.

Need assistance? Concord is here to help you evaluate your project requirements, team expertise, and long-term goals to determine whether investing in a custom component library is the right decision for your organization.

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