Four Kitchens

How Emulsify jumpstarts your development teams

5 Min. ReadDesign and UX

As the saying goes, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. However, when your organization needs a new website feature fast, that first step feels like its own tedious journey.

The issue comes down to the needs of development. Before your team can start on a new landing page or other site feature, they need all the right tools. Depending on the complexity of your organization’s Drupal site, that initial setup of templates and add-ons leads to more than a week of development time before a pixel is moved.

Your team needs to collect all the building blocks of your frontend UI, which requires a component library tool like Storybook. Developers also need to gather all the tools specific to your site’s theme. Then they have to establish a testing plan that ensures everything they create adheres to your organization’s accessibility standards.

Even once all this work is done, your team still hasn’t started the theoretical hard part. With all the setup out of the way, your developers can now get to work.

Why not skip that first step entirely so your developers get moving on their journey that much faster?

How Emulsify creates a head start for web development

When your organization works with Emulsify, project development moves faster. Emulsify, an open-source toolset for creating and implementing design systems, provides developers with a centralized style guide and component library that ensures all the parts they need for a web project are standardized.

Just as importantly, Emulsify provides your developers with a fully customizable Drupal theme with all of your site’s corresponding components and their variations right out of the gate. For example, rather than your developers needing time to install and configure Storybook, Emulsify bridges the gap between your component library and Drupal’s PHP template engine, Twig.

Ordinarily, your team would need to write custom JavaScript so Storybook could properly render your site templates. But Emulsify processes these component files so your developers can access and preview all the buttons, typography, and other elements required to start building. All they have to do is install Emulsify at the command line and supply a theme name. Then Emulsify creates what they need with the right tools in place.

From there, your team is off to the races!

Emulsify’s relationship with Twig through Webpack also allows it to act as a translator between how Drupal names its components and the conventions of your site. Rather than accessing default templates with names like “node_type” and “event_summary_view,” your team can use a component library informed by data specific to your organization.

Plus, with robust documentation for each component and automated accessibility testing, you don’t have to worry about newly created pages breaking your site. Whatever your developers create, they work from established building blocks that follow your site’s best practices.

Protecting the consistency of your design guards against bugs in your user experience and contributes to your site’s long-term health.

Emulsify provides a more flexible foundation for development

In terms of creating a development framework to accelerate frontend design, Emulsify isn’t your only option. Material Design, Bootstrap, and Foundation are just a few choices for creating a customized component library to support your organization’s website.

But what makes Emulsify different is that it won’t lock your developers into conforming how they work to the norms of a new system. Other design frameworks have built-in prescriptive patterns, such as referring to “class name” as “card.” And your team has to use the system’s vocabulary to support how components are stored and built.

Will a restriction like this impact your development time?

It ultimately depends on your web project. But if you want an enterprise Drupal site that serves your organization’s needs, you want the ability to be as specific and customized as possible.

The only preference built into Emulsify is working faster

Like any design system, Emulsify has preferences for how it’s used. But the only decision we baked into its components is the development naming convention Block, Element, Modifier (BEM). It’s the most common, logical way to write code describing CSS classes for components. So Emulsify uses BEM to eliminate the need to type the same naming structure over and over.

Four Kitchens built Emulsify with the goal of getting your developers started on the complex parts of a project sooner. Our custom framework allows them to skip over the repetitive, tedious tasks required at setup. That way, they spend more time operating at a higher level creating the solutions your organization needs.

Emulsify is built to accommodate the way your team likes to work, allowing them to write their code however they’d like. Whatever your developers need to support your organization, we want to empower them to adjust Emulsify to suit their process.

Think of the distinction between Emulsify and other design frameworks as what separates buying off the rack versus something bespoke to your needs. When you need your site to look and function at its best, you want something tailored the right way — that’s Emulsify.

Emulsify future-proofs organizations for growth

Setting up your organization to work with Emulsify doesn’t just streamline project development. It also leaves room to expand your digital presentation as needed by allowing your website components to be reused and remixed as needed.

Creating a digital experience that’s unique yet still aligned with the central organization is a challenging needle to thread. Maybe your site has to support multiple subsidiaries. Or perhaps you’re managing the site for a higher ed institution that encompasses multiple schools and departments. A design system offers a flexible solution to satisfy the needs of a complex organization.

Through Emulsify, smaller departments can establish their own identity without sacrificing visual consistency. Plus, you can ensure that development across your organization remains accessible to every audience. Higher education institutions must satisfy both requirements with their websites, which makes them ideal candidates for Emulsify, as it helps ensure digital presentation remains effective and equitable.

Emulsify doesn’t just offer your organization a head start. It’s also a leg up on handling whatever the future may have in store. If that sounds like a system that will suit your organization, we should talk. The sooner we get started, the faster your development team will get moving.