Four Ways To Improve Your Projects In 2016

March 06, 2016

This past year has been jammed back with new tools, tricks, and packages to fill up our build processes including. It seemed like we talked about React and PostCSS the most. SVG became a norm instead of some weird thing that nobody used.

I want to break out and list some things that I want to use and some things I use on a regular basis.


One thing that I always struggle with is making a great color palette. This is one of the main things that I like to try and nail down before I start a project because it is one of those things I feel like I never get right. There are two tools that help me:

Colorhunt - Find color pallets quick and easy Blend - Generate simple and beautifulgradients

Grid System

If a project were small in size and just needed to be a page or two, I would usually load in Foundation or Bootstrap just to get the grid. But if the project is large enough it would be something that I would like to have more control over.

The grid system you use can be the most important part of your project. It could add a lot of bloat and weight to your project.

Neutron - Sass framework that is flexible and creates semantic website layouts

Milligram - Minimalist CSS framework


It is now time to get to know Flexbox. News came down recently that Microsoft is killing support for IE8, 9, and 10. We can now start looking at some features that we once labeled as “experimental” and can use these things in production.

Here are a few resources to get you started and get working with Flexbox.

What Is Flexbox? - An excellent overview of Flexbox spec.

Flexbox Froggy - A game for moving Flexbox

Flexbox- A massive roundup of different Flexbox links


PostCSS is a tool for transforming CSS with JS plugins. It has been taking everyone by storm this past year. It has a lot of the right elements of other preprocessors, but it’s very easy to write your plugins.

The ecosystem is rich, and there are many different functions that could be added to your projects and make it work for you. PostCSS feels like the future of CSS. It is something that you should spend some time using this year.

Plugin Boilerplate - How to make your own postcss plugin

Plugin Boilerplate [Catalog of PostCSS plugins] - A list of awesome postcss plugins

Whats Next

Sometimes, it feels like there are so many new things that it is hard to keep up. But sometimes it is fun to go out and play with the new stuff to get you excited about the craft again.

John SiwickiWritten by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter