Implementing Proper CSS for Static Pages in SUSI.AI Web Chat

Our SUSI.AI Web Chat has many static pages like Overview, Devices, Team and Support. We have separate CSS files for each component. Recently, we faced a problem regarding design pattern where CSS files of one component were affecting another component. This blog is all about solving this issue and we take an example of distortion in our team’s page.

The current folder structure looks like this :

We can see that there are separate CSS files for all components. When the build of our react web app is complete, all the CSS files are loaded at once. So if CSS files contain classes with similar names, then this can disturb the original intended design of a particular component.

Our Team Page after merging of recent pull requests looked like this :

The Card component holding the images had extended vertically. The card component has following code:

<Card className='team-card' key={i}>
  <CardMedia className="container" >
    <img src={serv.avatar} alt={serv.name} 
      className="image" />
      <div className="overlay" >
        <div className="text">
         <FourButtons member={serv} />
        </div>
      </div>
  </CardMedia>
  <CardTitle title={serv.name} subtitle={serv.designation} />
</Card>

The CardMedia component is having className = “container”. This was defined in Team.css file. The CSS for this component is as follows :

.container {
  position: relative;
}
.container:hover .overlay {
  bottom: 0;
  height: 100%;
  opacity:0.7;
}

After inspecting through Chrome’s developer’s tool, it was found that these CSS properties were overwritten by another component having the same className as container. To resolve this issue there are multiple approaches:

  • Find the component with the same className and change the className of that component.
  • Change the className of current component.
  • Change the name of both components to resolve conflicts in future.

All the approaches will do the job for us. Here the easiest task was to change the className of the current component. This will save us time and we would not be adding extra lines of code. This is an efficient solution. So we decided to change the className to “container_div”. Then the CSS files will look like this:

.container_div {
  position: relative;
}
.container_div:hover .overlay {
  bottom: 0;
  height: 100%;
  opacity:0.7;
}

We also have to update the className in our CardMedia to “container_div”. After doing these changes. The cards were back to intended design:

To avoid such conflicts in future, it is recommended to name your CSS classes uniquely and after you’re done with making any component, recheck through developer’s tool that your component’s className does not have any conflicts with other components.

Resources:

CSS best practises: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/30-css-best-practices-for-beginners–net-6741

Code for Team’s Page: https://github.com/fossasia/chat.susi.ai/tree/master/src/components/Team

Team Page: http://chat.susi.ai/team