Around a year ago, in our large scale refactoring project also known as Project Ironman, we stepped away from image sprites that we used for our icons. In this post we will explain our reasoning behind this decision and how it improved maintainability and website performance.
While our company and our application were constantly growing, we often ran into some consistency issues between code and design. Because we didn't have a design/frontend system and development guidelines to follow, our UI became cluttered and unsustainable. This caused maintenance issues, slowed down our UI Development and caused us to produce technical debt with an overcomplicated CSS/DOM structure. In the end, we were afraid of spending our time on figuring out crazy rendering bugs rather than rapidly developing new UI features. I gave a lightning talk at the beginning of 2015 to present what we had learned at the LeanUX Meetup in Düsseldorf.