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What Is Storybook JS and How Can You Use It?

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14/09/2021 |

5 min read

Dominika Reszke

It may be called in many ways, and Storybook JS or StorybookJS are only some of its commonly used names. Some also refer to this tool as Storybook React or React Storybook, underlining the fact that it may support the React stack or library. It may be, however, used in other common development environments such as Vue, Angular, Ember, and Svelte. But, first and foremost, it is assigned to JavaScript, being a renowned JavaScript tool.

Dubbed the world’s most popular component explorer, Storybook JS is simply a tool proper for design systems or a button component library or repository. An all-purpose Storybook JS is just what modern – large and complex – web applications, as well as their creators, may need. 

It helps front-end developers to document, manage and keep track of particular components and pages, being searchable easily. And, above all, Storybook JS is handy and effortless – that’s what its users often say, treating it as their everyday companion that runs alongside your app in development mode.

By utilizing the Storybook, we may build user interfaces that are durable, flexible, and attractive. In general, with Storybook JS in the project, frontend development gets easier and more efficient. That’s crucial as using modular components for building user interfaces becomes more and more common. It's increasingly popular to create component driven UIs, meaning: starting with basic components and assembling them into screens. You can learn more about this design and development practice from its open source community website >>

But let’s shed a light on Storybook JS and see what exactly it is known and used for.


Table of contents:

1. Storybook JS in a nutshell – what it is and how can you use it?

2. Storybook JS – why and how it’s being used

3. Storybook JS wrapped up

Storybook JS in a nutshell - what it is and how can you use it?

What exactly is Storybook JS? According to its originators,

„Storybook is an open source tool for building UI components and pages in isolation. It streamlines UI development, testing, and documentation.”

What’s important is that component implementation or user interface building can be done in isolation, without paying attention to things like existing data, business logic, or APIs. This makes developing states that are difficult to get to as well as edge cases possible. 

On the other hand, when you need to find a particular piece of information, use case, component or a page in your app, you may do so easily, using user-friendly navigation and the search bar provided.

That’s right, one of this tool’s major benefits is its comprehensivity, and multifunctionality, making UI building (but also testing and quality assurance) much smoother and well-organized. But the list of Storybook’s advantages is much longer. It meets the requirements of many developers and can certainly solve more than one problem. 

Storybook JS – why and how it’s being used

The basic advantage of using Storybook JS is that it brings logic, and order to managing and applying components. For this reason, a user interface design system and end applications, in general, tend to be more efficient, well-run, and flexible, doing good on various devices. 

And such qualities may tip the scale and enable standing out among other UIs and other projects, e.g. when you aim to create a React app. Additionally, simple modular components Storybooks are broken into can be reused and revamped – many times and for multiple applications – as use cases are documented as stories.

Using Storybook JS helps to build top-tier UI or a React app at every stage and from the very first step. It also makes gathering feedback simple and documentation – easier to use. Other features include addons array that customize teams’ workflow, availability of various ways of effortless testing (like visual test appearance, unit test functionality, and accessibility test), tools for searching and finding needed resources, as well as the possibility to share components across screens and apps, export default title and generate UI docs automatically.

Storybook examples cover a plethora of industries and types of businesses, regardless of their size and years of market presence. These are commonly known brands and household names as well as ambitious beginners and open-source endeavors. 

According to Storybook JS’s official website, they include such leading teams as those of Audi, GitLab, Lonely Planet, and Airbnb, to name but a few. Moreover, the component-driven methodology is utilized in the media, with BBC’s Component Library called Psammead as the most prominent example.

Storybook JS wrapped up

If you don’t know Storybook software or Storybook JS yet, it’s certainly worth paying attention to. It supports React, Vue, and Angular, to name a few, and for many front-end developers, it actually turned out to be a game-changer in their day-to-day jobs. It makes a lot of daily tasks well-organized, and results in better time management.

Importantly, we may keep parts of our work for future reference, and find needed components (e.g. React components needed for building a React app) or pages easily, thanks to search bars and libraries available. We may also keep track of UI edge cases and reuse stories created beforehand, for performing automated tests.

It’s also worth mentioning that component-driven user interfaces are something more and more common as they make the workflow of UI designers or front-end developers, in general, smoother, easier, faster, more efficient, and more pleasant. And let’s not forget that Storybook JS is a JavaScript tool, and the latter certainly belongs to immensely popular top technologies for software development.

And you, what other Storybook JS use examples can you recall? When do you find applying this tool the most useful? Which benefits and features are the most attractive to you in day-to-day work?

Rated: 3.0 / 2 opinions
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Dominika Reszke

IT Content Writer with 12 years of professional writing experience. Prefers facts and figures to any kind of fiction.

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