Flatiron School

We designed a methodology to enable developers to keep pace with customer needs.

About The Client

The leader in programming education. They take “technically curious” individuals from all walks of life and empower them with the 21st-century tech skills needed to succeed in a booming tech world. Learn.co is their online campus, where students from around the world study and collaborate.

Challenge

Flatiron’s learning concept was taking off, and the Flatiron team was hard at work creating amazing new features for their students. They needed a reset as a way to make their developers' lives easier while also improving performance for their students. Their stylesheets were growing linearly with every new feature written, and becoming more and more complex over time.

Their CSS code was slowing down their product and workflow. They needed a way to overhaul the CSS structure.

Solution

They needed a methodology, not just code. We created a new custom CSS framework for the product. Our primary CSS methodology at the time was “object-oriented” CSS (OOCSS), a style pioneered by the brilliant Nicole Sullivan of Yahoo. This philosophy allows for extensive code re-use, to the point where new pages can be created without writing any new CSS at all. Flatiron’s team can now build complex new features without touching the CSS.

Result

Through this, we created substantial UX gains, faster page loads, a more consistent UI and greater parity with their product mocks. It also resulted in developer gains in that the plug-and-play system allowed their team to ship faster. They can build new views without writing any new CSS and they were able to reduce their payload by 10X.

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