How to Create a Front-End Framework with Sketch/Figma

Front-End Framework - In today's fast-paced digital world, effective collaboration within a design team is crucial. Especially when working on complex projects that involve multiple applications, maintaining alignment and adhering to established guidelines can be challenging.

To streamline the design process, foster consistency, and boost productivity, one powerful approach is to create a style guide that serves as a visual reference for the entire team. This evolved style guide, known as a Front-End Framework (FEF), enables designers, developers, product owners, project managers, and even clients to communicate better and collaborate seamlessly.

Before diving into the creation process of an FEF, it's important to consider the following aspects:

Key Considerations for an Effective Front-End Framework

1. Usability and Integration

  • The FEF should be user-friendly and easily integrated into existing workflows.
  • Seamless integration ensures that designers can leverage the framework efficiently, saving time and effort.

2. Educational Content

  • The FEF should provide examples and guidelines to facilitate the creation of new components and interactions.
  • By offering educational resources, the framework empowers designers to make informed decisions and maintain consistency.

3. Visual Clarity

  • A well-designed FEF should communicate specifications clearly, ensuring that everyone understands the visual guidelines.
  • Clear visuals aid in maintaining a unified design language and minimizing discrepancies.

4. Collaboration

  • Collaboration is a cornerstone of an effective FEF. All team members should have the ability to suggest changes and contribute new information.
  • By encouraging collaboration, the framework becomes a living document that evolves with the project.

5. Version Control

  • To ensure that the FEF remains up to date, it should be stored in a dedicated repository.
  • Any team member making changes should be responsible for updating the file, guaranteeing the latest version is accessible to all.

A. Implementing the Front-End Framework

Now, let's explore the step-by-step process of implementing an FEF:

Step 1: Defining the Information Architecture (IA)

The initial step involves defining the content structure based on the project requirements. Here's a breakdown of the IA:

  • Styling: Includes the color palette, font-family, typography, and icons.
  • Layouts & Page Patterns: Encompasses various compositions, grids, and main navigation.
  • Navigation Elements: Covers links, tabs, and pagination.
  • Modal Windows: Addresses popovers, tooltips, dropdowns, and message dialogs.
  • Entering Text: Focuses on forms and input fields.
  • Components: Encompasses reusable UI components specific to the application ecosystem.

Step 2: Creating the FEF Content


  • Begin by creating a primary and secondary color palette, along with complementary colors. Specify the #HEX values and their intended applications.
  • Establish clear naming conventions for the components within the FEF. Well-organized style tables in Sketch or Figma optimize the design workflow.
  • Define typographic styles, including primary and secondary fonts. Implement these styles consistently throughout the design.


  • Include a family of icons and convert them into symbols. Modifying an icon will reflect the changes across all instances.
  • Organize icons with different states using a standardized naming convention. For example, "ComponentName/state/sub-state."
  • This approach ensures easy accessibility and helps maintain order in the design.

Step 3: Creating Components

After defining the general styling and establishing style guidelines in Sketch or Figma, focus on creating reusable components. These components will be utilized throughout the application ecosystem, ensuring design consistency across the team.

Here are some examples of components that can be included:

  • Tooltips: Easily customize the background color by selecting the corresponding color from the styles window.
  • Forms: Create text fields as symbols to allow content modifications without directly accessing the symbol itself.
  • Each component should be accompanied by an explanatory text, outlining its purpose and expected behavior. Additional details such as sizes, margins, and styles can be specified for clarity.

Step 4: Behaviors

Certain components, such as data lists or grids, may undergo size modifications depending on the grid system employed. To address this, Sketch provides options for responsive behavior, introduced in version 39.

The available options are:

  • Stretch (default): Automatically adjusts the layer's size when the group is resized (suitable for dividing lines and row rectangles).
  • Pin to Corner: Pins the layer to the nearest corner, maintaining its original size when the group is resized (useful for icons and checkboxes).
  • Resize Object: Resizes the layer while preserving its original position within the group (ideal for text fields and their alignment with dividing lines).
  • Float in Place: Keeps the layer's size fixed but maintains its position relative to the group's dimensions (recommended for centered icons within columns).

Step 5: References

To ensure adaptability to diverse product requirements, the FEF should include a section demonstrating how components can be used based on specific functional needs. This empowers designers to replicate styles within different architectural contexts effectively.

The Benefits of an Effective Front-End Framework

By fostering collaboration and maintaining a cohesive design language, an FEF offers numerous advantages:

  • Improved Quality: Working together using a comprehensive style guide elevates the overall quality of the final product.
  • Streamlined Collaboration: Clear guidelines and visual references eliminate questions and confusion during the design process.
  • Consistent User Experience: The FEF ensures consistent interactions and behaviors, even across multiple applications.
  • Efficient Maintenance: When the need arises to update or modify components, the FEF simplifies the process, reducing time and effort.

Establishing a Front-End Framework is an invaluable investment for any design team. It unifies efforts, facilitates collaboration, and ultimately leads to better-designed products. By adhering to a shared visual language, designers and developers can work together seamlessly, resulting in enhanced user experiences and efficient workflows.

1 comment for "How to Create a Front-End Framework with Sketch/Figma"

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Thanks for the very helpful tips