In his presentation at the Warm Gun Conference in San Francisco CA, Federico Holgado shared how Mailchimp used reusable components to redesign their application. Here are my notes from his talk:
- The projects we work on today are equal in complexity in scale to those which create buildings, ships, and cars.
- The new MailChimp was a six month project to rebuild an interface used by 3.5 million users to run their business.The criteria for success was to not break people's process and flows.
- Architects have a lot of criteria to meet: end users, safety, contractors, regulations, and more. The foundation does not get poured until the blueprints are done. It is a slow, linear process.
- Car manufacturers went from a 60month time to market to less than 12 months. Modular assembly of components has helped these industries move substantially faster.
- How can we bring this modular thinking to how we crete software?
- Start the redesign process by thinking in terms of reusable, modular components. Mailchimp's pattern library is the architecture underpinning their service.
- MailChimp started their redesign process by looking at their most highly trafficked pages.
- Mailchimp has over 600 different views inside their application. Reusable code allows you to make even the dark corners of an app work better.
- Pattern libraries don't make sense for every site. But large scale applications can benefit from the heavy up front costs to get a pattern library up and running.