Underappreciated frameworks part 4: Schema UI

This is a part of the Under-appreciated series, where we explore CSS frameworks that are well-made and have great ideas, but never took off like the “big two”. For a full introduction, see the first article in the series.

You can tell that Schema UI’s last update was at least a year ago because the framework is still using LESS. Okay, that was unnecessarily snarky, but I’m still bitter about Bootstrap switching over to SASS.

Schema UI is another one of those frameworks that I absolutely love. You know, the ones that seem pretty darn similar to each other because they’re as minimalist as possible? The ones that stick to some standard features and just let you get on with building whatever you want to build?

Yeah, love those. So here’s another one.

The best parts

To be perfectly honest, this framework has not excited me like some of the others. Like I said, I love it, but it is awful similar to a lot of others. Still, it’s good work. Good work deserves to be recognized and appreciated.

Schema UI is meant to be used as a base, a building block for production code. Or, you can use it as-is for rapid prototyping. It’s one of those awesome little tools that a web designer/developer made for himself, because he wanted a framework that reflected the way he worked, and could be quickly changed to match any aesthetic.

In fact, you should change it. The default styles don’t look bad but they are so intentionally bland that you want to change them right away. That’s probably intentional, and if so, I have to congratulate the designer. The good news is that you only need to change a few things to breathe personality into the design, and the rest of the elements should fit nicely.

Standard features

This is another one of those little frameworks that went Rem-based a long time before some of the more well-known frameworks did. It’s got the standard 12-column grid, basically all of the standard elements, and it’s all modular.

  • Alerts
  • Badges
  • Button Groups
  • Buttons
  • Colors
  • Forms
  • Grid System
  • Input Groups
  • Labels
  • List Groups (An interesting variation on the usual unordered list.)
  • Nav
  • Pagination
  • Panel
  • Tables
  • Typography


Well made, if not particularly original. being based on jQuery weighs it down and/or makes it more powerful; you might want to give that jQuery file an update, though.

In a way, like everything else that’s released into the realm of open source, it’s a little window into the mind of the person who made it. It’s good work. It’s a simple, solid base for further development, and nothing more.

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