Frontend philosophy

The frontend is about iterating as quickly as possible. Because of (1) the impossibility of nailing the perfect UI upfront and (2) the extreme speed at which new features are added and previous ones evolved, frontends are fundamentally dynamic. The best designs are ones that honor that fundamental dynamism, and are almost always designs that allow for the fastest iteration.

The key to designs that allow for fast iteration is that they maintain flexibility and defer abstraction. Abstractions lock you in to some particular way of doing things. The wrong ones will have to be immediately undone or redone during future iteration, and become a tax rather than leverage. Given the fundamental dynamism, it's very hard to predict which abstractions are right and wrong. Only after seeing evidence that a particular abstraction will provide enduring leverage should it be put into place.

The frontend mantra is: Resist the urge to abstract.

Here are is an alternate articulation of this idea from Dan Abramov (talk + post):