7 min
May 02 2021
If you came here looking for highly popular JavaScript libraries, let me save you some time. This blog post isn’t for you. There are a plethora of resources out there talking about the “top so and so” JavaScript resources. I don’t want to add to the pile.
I am here to talk about the real MVPs, the lesser-known gems that don’t get the due attention in the overcrowded JavaScript ecosystem.
Some of these tools are libraries and some of them are frameworks. However, most of them are emerging technologies, carrying immense potential, waiting to be tapped by beginner, intermediate, or advanced level developers.
So without further ado, let me get straight to the point, Here’s a curated list of JavaScript UI and CSS tools that have become a part of our design and development processes in 2021:
5 awesome javascript ui and css tools you may not know about
There are JavaScript frameworks like Angular and React that come packed with tons of features and strong communities. And then there is Svelte.
Svelte is a relatively newer front-end JavaScript framework that is ideal for beginner and intermediate level developers. It has an extremely easy learning curve so the developers aren’t burdened with a plethora of new tools to learn.
However, its most attractive feature is its ability to convert the app code into JavaScript at the build time itself. So no more diving into the complexities of code conversion at run time!
Like Angular and React, Svelte too has a component-based architecture. You could use the entire framework for your app’s front-end or you could only ship the components you wish to use.
Also, the boilerplate code requirements while using Svelte is quite less compared to other frameworks. As a beginner, you could simply use basic technologies like HTML and CSS to write the code.
5 awesome javascript ui and css tools you may not know about
Gatsby JS has been a reliable static-site generator for quite a few years now. Especially for building static progressive web apps, it’s a great tool that is always in sync with the latest web standards.
Obviously then, it leverages modern tools like Reactjs, GraphQL, WebPack, and ES6+ versions to build the web app.
Speaking of WebPack, did you know Gatsby JS makes it incredibly easy to optimize your web app for performance? All you have to do is write the source code. Gatsby JS will find the most efficient WebPack configuration to suit your code and compile it automatically!
Gatsby JS has a vast library of over 2000+ plug-ins for quick design and development of various functionalities. It also lets you integrate or import data from APIs, CMSs, databases and other multiple sources.
What distinguishes Gatsby JS from other static site generators is its ability to avoid re-executing the redundant parts of the app code. So its capable of building and deploying web apps at least 2.5x faster!
5 awesome javascript ui and css tools you may not know about 1
Already quite popular, Bulma is an open-source CSS framework based on Flexbox. Meaning, you don’t have to deal with two-dimensional layouts while designing the UI of your app. It lets you focus on either a row or a column-based layout while writing mode of the document.
Bulma is built to ease the development process of web apps, especially from the CSS perspective. So it’s pretty easy to learn and use. Otherwise, what’s the point of using a CSS framework if you have to spend time learning a new technology!
The biggest advantage of using Bulma for a web application is its responsiveness. With Bulma, you can rest assured that your app will be fully optimized for mobile views.
With a modular architecture, Bulma enables you to use only those elements that you need for your web app. That means, complete access to a wealth of resources with no technical debt.
Lastly, the framework is highly customizable. You can choose the size of the grid layouts once and the rest of the columns (or rows) will adjust to the size automatically.
Bulma comes with comprehensive documentation and is supported strongly by a community of over 200,000 developers. So kickstarting your project using Bulma CSS won’t need much of an effort.
5 awesome javascript ui and css tools you may not know about 2
Despite being a low level CSS framework, Tailwind CSS has gained huge popularity as a highly customizable tool for building efficient design elements.
In contrast to the likes of Bootstrap, Tailwind CSS doesn’t provide you with ready-use components. Instead, it gives you foundational components that you can use as building blocks for designing custom interfaces for your web application.
With Tailwind CSS, you don’t have to worry about naming classes of all the elements you create. It has an in-built system of utility classes that you can use for most of your components. This makes the whole process of CSS development less painful, if I may say so.
5 awesome javascript ui and css tools you may not know about 3
Most of you must have heard Ryan Dahl’s talk in the JSConf EU in 2018. In the talk titled “Top 10 Things I Regret About Node.js,” he explains how Nodejs hasn’t grown well in response to JavaScript’s evolving capabilities.
So he started working on another, improved run time environment called Deno.js. Yes, Deno is the anagram of Node and is essentially a collection of all the things Ryan had missed out on building in Node.js.
One of the striking features of Deno (in contrast to Nodejs) is its enhanced security protocols. When you use Deno as a run-time environment, it executes the code in a sandbox. That means the run time environment can’t access the network, environment variables, or the file system unless you give them permission to do so.
I like to use Deno as a JavaScript library whenever I feel NPM is going to be too problematic for a certain project. With Deno, you can import packages just by using the URL of the concerned package.So you can host the modules you create wherever you like and import them directly using the URL.
If your modules are reusable, don’t worry about typing the URL time and again. You can just re-export the module from a local file on your system.
On top of that, Deno is browser-compatible, you just need to add a bit of code to transpile the code to the latest ES version.

Wrapping Up

It's not necessary for a tool or technology to be mainstream for us to trust it. There are a lot of very inventive JavaScript tools out there that haven't gained much popularity yet, and I've shared some of my personal favorites in the content above. However, please check out the official Gitlab sites/repositories of these tools to learn more about their features, pros and cons in detail. Thank you for reading, good luck and have a nice day!)
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