My mission is to improve my company's front-end and "design system," which includes branding, design, photography and front-end for all its properties. We have a desktop software and I redesigned all of it's front-end by modifying its front-end framework and implementing and adapting google's material design. We want to make things consistent, but I have terrible fear of creating so many custom things that I will spend the rest of my time fixing bugs, so my manager suggested using the top seller templates such as Avada or BE theme, which I think are modified versions of bootstrap. Those themes have lots of templates and drag editors, and also also maintained by professional companies. After I establish good design system (I'm trying to follow an atomic design philosophy) , I want to focus more on UX and improving the user experience. So instead of multiple versions of buttons, or tables, we will just one component, and everything will have a consistent look, this will help us build the right design components we need and save time in the future. We might have other smaller applications (such as a member's only area) with custom code, but should I design from scratch a wordpress theme using google's material design lite CSS framework, use a modified version of a famous wordpress theme that probably is using bootstrap, or should I design from scratch using foundation? I know there are no silver bullets in programming, but I need to make a decision on what will be more maintainable and we will give us the ability to maintain a good and distinct design system. We already have our software UI all designed in photoshop with a good design grid, consistent icons (around 120).

Agreed with Nicky.

A few other considerations worth mentioning. Using a theme will require more effort to customize layouts/looks to your exact specifications, so you have to ask yourself if ease-of-deployment and a perfected look (that isn't tested yet) worth the risk of more difficulty in layout customization. And if you plan on doing design/layout AB tests or make regular changes to look/feel, how easy will it be to do those things?

You might be able to get the best of both worlds using a powerful and/or clean theme and layer on something like Beaver Builder to be able to iterate much faster and streamline your design workflow tremendously.

That being said, if the website will be a set-it-and-forget-it project I'd likely recommend custom from the ground up. Otherwise, for small business, consider working on a minimum viable deployment with a theme you can dig into deeply and layout builders that you can quickly iterate on.

Answered 6 years ago

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