Alex Sidorenko

Is "Refactoring UI" worth the money?

May 25, 2021

Refactoring UI is a PDF book that aims to help developers improve their design skills. It was written by the creators of TailwindCSS - Adam Wathan and Steve Schoger. The book is quite popular among developers who are wondering how to come up with a good-looking UI on their own. Chances are you’ve already seen some recommendations online. It’s not cheap though. This article is written to help you decide whether it worth your money.

What’s inside

There are two versions of Refactoring UI you can buy. Essentials and The complete package. The Essentials contains a book in PDF format and three video tutorials. The complete package contains a book, video tutorials, component inspiration gallery, color palettes, curated font showcase, and icon library.

At the time of writing this article, the price of the Essentials package was $99, and The complete package was $149.

Which version to buy?

The main value of Refactoring UI is in a PDF book. If you just want the book, buy the Essentials. If you have additional money to spare and are interested in some of the items from The Complete package, go for it, it’s also very well done.

I, personally, bought The complete package but only used the book and videos.

Book and videos

If you want to know what to expect out of the book, check out this article by Steve Shoger. The book is written in the same format. It’s 215 pages of tips and hacks to apply to make your design better.

Three tutorial videos included in the bundle show Steve redesigning an existing web page while giving his comments. You can find similar videos from Steve here for free.


It’s important to understand that this book won’t make you a designer. Nor is it intended to do so. It’s not a deep dive into design fundamentals, typography, and color theory. It is a cheat sheet of UI tricks that you can apply instantly to make your design look better.

So if your goal is to make a career in graphic design, and you expect that this book will equip you with everything necessary to achieve it, you will be disappointed.

But if you are a developer who wants to make better-informed UI decisions and be less dependant on the actual designer in the team, this book is the best value for money on the market. It will help you come up with much better-looking user interfaces. You won’t be disappointed.