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Foundation vs UIkIt: What are the differences?

Foundation: The most advanced responsive front-end framework in the world. Foundation is the most advanced responsive front-end framework in the world. You can quickly prototype and build sites or apps that work on any kind of device with Foundation, which includes layout constructs (like a fully responsive grid), elements and best practices; UIkIt: A lightweight and modular front-end framework for developing fast and powerful web interfaces. UIkit gives you a comprehensive collection of HTML, CSS, and JS components which is simple to use, easy to customize and extendable.

Foundation and UIkIt can be categorized as "Front-End Frameworks" tools.

Some of the features offered by Foundation are:

  • Semantic: Everything is semantic. You can have the cleanest markup without sacrificing the utility and speed of Foundation.
  • Mobile First: You can build for small devices first. Then, as devices get larger and larger, layer in more complexity for a complete responsive design.
  • Customizable: You can customize your build to include or remove certain elements, as well as define the size of columns, colors, font size and more.

On the other hand, UIkIt provides the following key features:

  • LESS - UIkit is developed in LESS to write well-structured, extendable code which is easy to maintain.
  • Components - A collection of small, responsive components using consistent and conflict-free naming conventions.
  • Customizer - UIkit's very basic style can be extended with themes and is easy to customize to create your own look.

"Responsive grid" is the top reason why over 155 developers like Foundation, while over 25 developers mention "Complete GUI" as the leading cause for choosing UIkIt.

Foundation and UIkIt are both open source tools. It seems that Foundation with 28.2K GitHub stars and 5.77K forks on GitHub has more adoption than UIkIt with 14.6K GitHub stars and 2.1K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Foundation has a broader approval, being mentioned in 654 company stacks & 77 developers stacks; compared to UIkIt, which is listed in 45 company stacks and 9 developer stacks.

Advice on Foundation and UIkIt
Daniel Hernández Alcojor
Frontend Developer at atSistemas · | 8 upvotes · 773.7K views
Needs advice

I'm building, from scratch, a webapp. It's going to be a dashboard to check on our apps in New Relic and update the Apdex from the webapp. I have just chosen Next.js as our framework because we use React already, and after going through the tutorial, I just loved the latest changes they have implemented.

But we have to decide on a CSS framework for the UI. I'm partial to Bulma because I love that it's all about CSS (and you can use SCSS from the start), that it's rather lightweight and that it doesn't come with JavaScript clutter. One of the things I hate about Bootstrap is that you depend on jQuery to use the JavaScript part. My boss loves UIkIt, but when I've used it in the past, I didn't like it.

What do you think we should use? Maybe you have another suggestion?

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Replies (7)

I have used bulma in several projects. We could not customize with the websites very well. Also when we need "quick solutions" Bulma is not suitable (I mean basic animations, to-top buttons, transparent navbar solutions etc. For these solutions, you need extra js codes).

Everybody knows about Bootstrap (heavy but popular).

Now we start a new project with UI kit, I like it. Pros: It is fast and lightweight and imho it has very good UI. Cons: Small community. Documentation.

Check this link for kick-off.

Maybe it is helpful.

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Damien Lucchese

Been checking out Bulma, myself, and really dig it. I like that it's a great base level jumping off point. You can get a layout going with it, pretty quickly, and then customize as you want. It definitely sounds like it's the one you're leaning towards but a big factor would be who will be using it most? Your boss, yourself, others? Whichever you like best, you'll prob be most productive with but if in the end your boss says it has to be UIkit, then best to be open-minded and give it another shot. Sometimes you may not jive with new tools in your stack, at first, but then they can become tools you learn to love. Best to you in your decision! Take care & keep safe.

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I've moved away from the concept of UI kits. Not that many support CSS grid. A lot of the icons are easier to use in SVG. I've had success in the concept of design framework and design tokens. I build my brand identity in Figma, and extract in Diez. Then Diez integrates into React and SASS. Much easier because design is decoupled from software in a central authority, and software updates automatically from design changes.

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Honestly - pick whatever you are the most comfortable with. You can achieve almost the same effects with different tools, so why not use something I like using?

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I used UIKit and Bootstrap many times. I love Bootstrap for fast, easy layouts to web apps. Clean code, easiest and fastest way to write layouts for front end if you learned something before about Bootstrap. Now in React I use React-Boostrap too. About UIKit I can say its nice idea. It's easier than Bootstrap. This is good option for trainee developer to learn how u should create layout of your website, but for me UIKit have not enough functions. If you need to create something complicated, u have an error in your mind. You must create amazing code combinations for UIKit where in Bootstrap in the same ideas you have easy solutions.

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Tomer Fishaimer
Frontend Architect at Aqua Security · | 2 upvotes · 440K views
Tailwind CSSTailwind CSS

Actually it really depends on your needs, there are 3 types of UI frameworks you can use:

  1. A complete set of UI components like:


    Having a lot of pre-built UI components saves a lot of time


    need to learn the react framework and the bulma styles, and it's harder to customize to your needs

  2. A pure css framework, like Bulma, where you write all the components yourself.


    A lot of flexibility to build the components you need


    You are bound to Bulma classes and markup.

    Takes more time since you need to build the components

  3. A utility class framework like:


Most flexible, mix and match classes as you like and build your own markup

Very easy to customize to your needs


Might take time to get used to and takes more time since you need to build the components

If you choose options one, then it's just a matter of deciding what style you like (material,ant, bulma) and go with the library that implements it If you go with pure css and build your own components, I can't recommend tailwind enough, I've been finding myself building entire pages without writing a single line of css.

And if later on, the designer wants to make a change to some color, or size, I just need to change one value in the config file, and the entire app is updated.

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Needs advice
BootstrapBootstrapTailwind CSSTailwind CSS

We are re-modifying the existing portal to the new one. Looking out for a CSS framework where over-rides are possible, the performance of page loading, extendable, etc Please suggest between tailwind, UIkit and bootstrap frameworks explaining in detail on different factors. I request your help on the same.

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Replies (2)
Brett Stevenson

I'm a big proponent of Tailwind and I personally use it whenever I get the chance, mostly because it's not really a UI-kit, but it sounds like in this case a UI-kit like Bootstrap with pre-defined components is more what you are looking for. Bootstrap is (relatively) extendable and overridable and makes it really simple to make a decent looking UI using a handful of pre-defined classes, whereas with Tailwind you configure the classes and create your own components. My main reason for replacing Bootstrap in my workflow is that it feels like the component creation has become so abstracted from the developer that any meaningful customization becomes a chore, resulting in many websites having the generic "Bootstrap-look". Nonetheless, it is effective for creating a pleasant and responsive UI. Though, I don't have any experience with UIkit.

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Collins Ogbuzuru
Front-end dev at Evolve credit · | 0 upvotes · 433.8K views
Tailwind CSSTailwind CSS

Hey Sai, My thoughts on UIkit - It's beautiful, it's fast and it has good animation too. Why would I choose it ? Nothing other than giving the internet a new look .

My thoughts on Bootstrap - it's beautiful, if used well. It's very fast and has clean class naming convention unlike Uikit.

Why I would choose it ? It's been tested and trusted, I can find a whole lot of resources and a community around it. Also with the type of project you working on I bet Bootstrap would do the job .

My thoughts on tailwind - classic, difficult to set up and clean utilities. I wouldn't think of tailwind the way I would to Bootstrap or UIkit. What do I mean ? Tailwind is more like a tool set to create your own design flow rather than giving you a pre-designed button it gives you the ability to design yours.

My final thoughts.

If you have the time , setup and use tailwind it will give you a great chance when it comes to extending and performance.

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Pros of Foundation
Pros of UIkIt
  • 159
    Responsive grid
  • 93
    Mobile first
  • 80
    Open source
  • 75
  • 72
  • 51
    Quick to prototype
  • 50
    Simple ui
  • 45
  • 44
    Best practices
  • 39
    Easy setup
  • 6
    HTML, SCSS and JS
  • 6
    Neutral style
  • 5
  • 5
    Accessibility support
  • 3
    Xy grid
  • 2
    Every new version is smaller, smarter & more efficient
  • 2
  • 1
  • 39
    Complete GUI
  • 29
    Easy modify
  • 27
  • 24
    Easy to learn
  • 24
  • 22
  • 21
  • 16
  • 15
  • 15
    Easy to use
  • 5
  • 5
    Modern look
  • 5
    Because I can create amazing things with little effort
  • 4
  • 3
    Small but Active Community
  • 2
    No requires jquery
  • 2
    Convenient JS Components
  • 2
    Based on Flexbox
  • 2
    Responsive grid

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Cons of Foundation
Cons of UIkIt
  • 5
    Requires jQuery
  • 4
    Awful site
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What companies use Foundation?
    What companies use UIkIt?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Foundation or UIkIt.
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    What tools integrate with Foundation?
    What tools integrate with UIkIt?
      No integrations found
      What are some alternatives to Foundation and UIkIt?
      Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web.
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      Material Design is a specification for a unified system of visual, motion, and interaction design that adapts across different devices. Our goal is to deliver a lean, lightweight set of AngularJS-native UI elements that implement the material design system for use in Angular SPAs.
      It is a bunch of cool, fun, and cross-browser animations for you to use in your projects. Great for emphasis, home pages, sliders, and general just-add-water-awesomeness.
      Material UI is a library of React UI components that implements Google's Material Design.
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