GitHub is a place where you can find a lot of user interface components.
Most GitHub users are software developers. You don’t have to be a software developer to find value in GitHub, though.
Many UI components on GitHub have demos that don’t require any programming skills to appreciate. And there is a lot to appreciate.
Demo + code vs GIF
The advantage of GitHub over Dribbble is that… GitHub is primarily for software developers. GitHub is mainly for people who implement and ship projects. Using GitHub resources is a tribute to the software developers who carry out your projects. Demos with open–source code make communication easier. Sometimes, they also greatly simplify the work of software developers. Developers appreciate and remember that.
When I have to design something, I look at GitHub, not Dribbble. Dribbble is for visual inspiration. GitHub is for ready–made pieces of technology for user interfaces that have demos, have specific constraints and functions, and really work.
I’ll have this, this & that
I know software developers who mention, with tears in their eyes, all the customers who have given them designs accompanied by links to specific projects on GitHub.
The value is real. Communication using demos of UI elements reduces the chances of misunderstandings. Demos answer many unasked questions. Besides prototypes, they are one of the most valuable tools in the fight against risk in software projects.
Star, heart, favorite it up
You can “star” projects on GitHub. This makes it easier to find them in the future.
This sort of collection of UI semi–products turns out to be surprisingly valuable for me and the people working with me. I can’t remember a single week where I haven’t used it.
I’ve starred projects on GitHub since 2014. For four years, I’ve starred over 1,500 projects. Now, whenever I need to design an interface element, I often think to myself, “Hmm, I starred something nice that does this thing a few months ago…” This is one of those things that make me a better designer and that can’t be bought with money.
Where to find projects worth starring
Recipe: Building your value as a designer in just 2 minutes a day
1. Create an account on GitHub.
2. Subscribe to GitHub Explore:
3. Every day, scan a short email that looks something like this:
4. If you decide that a project may be useful for you, visit its website and click “Star”.
5. After a while, your list of starred projects will look something like this:
6. The thought “I have a perfect component here in my stars on GitHub” will occur to you more and more often.
Examples of tools I found on GitHub
Convinced? Sign up for GitHub
Once you get used to GitHub, you can talk to the software developers you work with about the technologies they use and learn how to look for semi–products that developers can easily use in your project. But that’s a topic for another article.