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Front End System Design Guidebook

Front End System Design Cheatsheet

Summary of the important things you need to take note of during front end system design interviews.

RADIO Framework

  1. Requirements Exploration: Understand the problem thoroughly and determine the scope by asking a number of clarifying questions.
  2. Architecture/High-level Design: Identify the key components of the product and how they are related to each other.
  3. Data Model: Describe the various data entities, the fields they contain and which component(s) they belong to.
  4. Interface Definition (API): Define the interface (API) between components in the product, functionality of each APIs, their parameters and responses.
  5. Optimizations and Deep Dive: Discuss about possible optimization opportunities and specific areas of interest when building the product.

Evaluation Axes

  1. Problem Exploration: Demonstrated understanding of the problem, asked clarifying questions to reduce ambiguities and gathered sufficient requirements.
  2. Architecture: Broke down the problem into smaller independent parts, defined their responsibilities and how these components can work together.
  3. Technical Proficiency: Demonstrated technical knowledge and proficiency of front end domain fundamentals (e.g. performance, networking, accessibility, i18n, security, etc), relevant technologies and APIs.
  4. Exploration and Tradeoffs: Suggested various possible approaches on how to achieve certain functionality, explained the pros and cons and made recommendations.
  5. Product and UX Sense: Showed consideration for user experience and decisions to make the product a great one.
  6. Communication and Collaboration: Conveyed thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely, receptive to feedback and collaborated with the interviewer.

Common Mistakes

  • Jumping into answering the question immediately without first asking questions and gathering requirements.
  • Approaching the question in an unstructured manner, going all over the place and missing out on important areas.
  • Insisting on only one solution or the best solution without realizing that each solution has tradeoffs.
  • Remaining silent the entire time and only thinking in their head.
  • Going down a rabbit hole and spending too much time on unimportant areas.
  • Using buzzwords without being able to explain them.