Uber introduces Base Web, an open source “unified” design system for building websites in React

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Uber’s design and engineering team has introduced a universal system called Base Web design system, which was open sourced in 2018. Base Web is a suite of React components implementing the “base” design language quickly and easily creating web applications.

At Uber, developers, product managers, operations teams, and other employees have to interact with different web applications on a daily basis. As all of these web applications function differently, it puts an additional overhead of learning how to interact with them most effectively. To reduce this time and effort, Uber wanted an universal system, which will act as “a foundation, a basis for initiating, evolving, and unifying web products”.

Having a universal design system helps teams of engineers, designers, and product managers to easily work together. It also helps new engineers and designers to quickly get an hang of the possible components and design tokens used by a given engineering organization.

One of the key reasons for introducing Base Web was to make it easy for developers to reuse components. Uber’s design and engineering team after talking to its engineers determined that they mainly needed access to:

  • Style customizations
  • The ability to modify the rendering of a component

So, they introduced a unified overrides API, which comes with the following benefits:

  • Eliminates top-level properties API overload
  • There is no longer extra properties proxying inconsistently across the composable components
  • Allows you to completely replace the components.

Uber is now using Base Web across teams to create its web applications. “Open sourced in 2018 to enable others to experience the benefits of this solution, Base Web is now used across Uber, ensuring a seamless development experience across our web applications,” reads the announcement.

To read the official announcement, visit Uber’s official website.

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