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Recommended Frontend Mentor challenge order for junior devs

Here I suggest an order of newbie Frontend Mentor challenges that you might like to follow if you are new to the platform or front end development in general…

My list for Beginners

Although I'm suggesting an order here, please remember it's not an exact science!

I'll try to explain why I suggest each challenge in this (rough) order. And hopefully, you'll see that I'm trying to help you build skills progressively.

As a self-taught developer, I have first-hand experience of feeling overwhelmed by challenges I couldn't do (this still happens regularly by the way!). I hope this list helps you avoid feeling overwhelmed, even if you choose to skip challenges or take them in a different order.

A good rule of thumb is to attempt challenges where you think you can comfortably do about 80% but will need to look up the last 20%. That's what this list intends to do.

1. QR Code Card

QR Code Challenge: A single card with a white background, QR code image, title and sentence

It looks super simple, but gives you a chance to practice:

  • how to use the style guide
  • landmarks and semantic HTML
  • how to link Google fonts
  • using a modern CSS reset
  • how to centre a component in the viewport with flex/grid
  • writing good image alt descriptions

2. Product preview card or Order summary component

Product Preview Challenge: A single card in horizontal arrangement with an image of perfume on one side and product details including category, product name, prices and add to cart button on the other
Order Summary Challenge: A single card with an illustration at the top, heaing, inner pricing box with option to change from annual pricing, a proceed button and a cancel CTA

These will build on the above but with an extra focus on:

  • image sizing with object-fit
  • buttons vs anchors
  • flexbox (and possibly CSS grid)
  • heading order
  • mobile-first styling
  • responsive images using the picture element
    (in the product preview card)
  • how to add extra info for screen reader users
    (in the product preview card)

💡 You may like to look at my post about planning out your HTML at this point!

3. Stats preview card

Stats preview card component challenge: A dark background with a dark-colored horizontal card in desktop view. There is a title with words highlighted in purple, a paragraph and 3 statistics on one side, and an photo of office workers with a purple-tinted overlay on the other

Now you'll practice more:

  • CSS grid and Flexbox
  • list styling (and how to keep them accessible)
  • blend modes on images

4. The 3-column preview card

3-column preview card component challenge: Three columns in a card, each with a different coloured background, an icon, a heading, paragraph and button-styled CTA link

This builds on the previous skills:

  • CSS Grid and/or Flexbox
  • headings and semantic HTML
  • decorative images
  • hover and focus-visible styles
  • more practice with mobile-first responsiveness

5. Single price grid or Huddle landing page

Single price grid component Challenge: A grid of text content. One row at the top has a white background, main title and paragraphs. Under this there are two columns, in the grid, each with a different shade of teal background and white text. The first column includes pricing information and a CTA link to sign up; and the second column includes a list of benefits
Huddle landing page with a single introductory section Challenge: A landing page with purple patterned background shown in desktop orientation. There is a logo at the top, main section with large image next to a heading, paragraph and CTA link; and in the bottom corner of the page are 3 social media icons

Whether or not you've used it before, this is time to use CSS grid!

You'll also practice:

  • landmarks and semantic HTML structure
  • SVG hover styles
    (in the Huddle landing page)
  • Heading order
    (in the Single price grid component)

⚠️ Note, the single price grid component design has particularly poor colour contrast, making it inaccessible. Feel free to adjust the colours if you wish!

6. The 4 card feature and Social Proof section

4 card feature section Challenge: Desktop design for the challenge with a centre-aligned heading and intro paragraph, followed by 4 cards in an unusual 'plus style' layout where the corner areas of the grid are empty.
Social Proof section Challenge: A desktop design with intro section, reviews and testimonials all with staggered arrangements

These are more complex CSS grid challenges.

I recommend trying out grid-template areas if you've not done so already, and plan out your grid on paper if it helps.

You'll also gain more experience with:

  • using alignment methods like directional auto or negative margins, text alignment, transforms, flex properties or CSS grid properties
  • max-width in ch or rem
  • pseudo-elements or borders
  • visually hidden headings
    (in the social proof section)

Honestly, doing both of these challenges is likely very beneficial!

7. Ping single column or Base Apparel coming soon page

Ping single column coming soon page Challenge: Desktop design for a simple email sign up landing page, with logo, title, single field form, image and 3 social icons
Base Apparel coming soon page Challenge: A desktop design for a landing page with full height image on one side, logo and intro text with single field email sign up form on the other side

It's JavaScript time! If you haven't studied any JS at all yet, pause here and try to learn some basics.

It's also worth reading MDN's excellent docs or tutorials on HTML form validation, as that's what these challenges focus on.

You'll also have the opportunity to learn:

  • more flex/grid
  • accessible form HTML markup
  • how to programmatically link errors and inputs
  • aria-live attributes

8. Intro with sign up form

Intro component with sign up form challenge: A landing page with bright coral patterned background and a two-column layout with an intro section on one side and a multi-field sign up form on the other

You will need lots of form validation practice. This is a huge part of a front end developer's job, so get familiar with forms as much as you can!

Again, this isn't the most accessible design because (a) it's missing visible form labels and (b) has poor colour contrast. Feel free to adjust it to make it properly accessible, or ignore those two issues and focus all your energy on emulating the design and validating that form in an accessible way.

You'll also be able to stretch skills like:

  • semantically meaningful HTML (as always)
  • lean JavaScript (it should be as minimal as possible)
  • separation of styling and script concerns
  • accessible error announcement
  • aria-describedby attributes
  • positioning and styling based on dynamic errors
  • background images
  • more complex CSS selectors

9. Results Summary Component

Results Summary Component challenge: A results summary component centred on the screen, with dark purple background section giving overall results, then a white bakground section with a breakdown of individual results and 'continue' CTA. Each item has an icon, title and score our of 100.

A lovely little challenge that introduces a separate data file, like those you'll work with day-to-day in front end work.

This challenge adds opportunities to learn:

  • how to power HTML content from data
  • custom properties and/or colour modifiers in CSS
  • some challenging pre-planning to get the HTML structure right

10. Interactive rating card

Interactive rating component challenge: A small feedback form with a dark design. All the card contains is short text, numbers in circles 1-5, and a submit button

I love this challenge but it's amazing how few people plan their HTML correctly on this one.

Hint: It's a form! Look up which form elements would be most appropriate for those circles. Another hint: They're not buttons! 😉

Here you'll learn:

  • more about working with form data
  • submit events
  • announcing content changes to the accessibility API
  • accessibly styling previously unused form elements (This can be a bit tricky! has some great posts that should help)

11. NFT preview card

NFT preview card challenge: A simple-looking card design with image and text content. This design preview does not show the tricky image hover effect in the challenge, which makes the design more complex than it first looks

This will be a real test of what you've learnt so far, especially in terms of meaningful HTML.

It also is a great opportunity to learn more about:

  • pseudo-elements
  • fun hover styles
  • accessible naming practices for interactive elements

12. Workit landing page, Equalizer landing page, or Pod request access landing page

If you have PRO membership and want to practice more CSS and HTML in a bigger project, have a go at one or more of these landing pages.

Workit landing page Challenge: Desktop design for a landing page with curved hero section background and slanted feature image
Equalizer landing page Challenge: A landing page with colourful overlapping patterns, content and images
Pod request access landing page Challenge: A dark landing page design with overlapping content and images, decorative motifs and an email sign up form

These are great portfolio pieces and will help weave everything you've learned together. Think of it as a chance to stretch yourself on a bigger challenge, testing and embedding those skills!

13. News homepage

News homepage challenge: A complex full news landing page requiring a grid layout and some visually-hidden headings. There is a header with logo and nav, followed by a main with a large featured news post, highlighed new posts list, and ordered popular posts list

This is another great one for CSS grid and testing out your awareness of meaningful HTML structure. It needs careful planning (mobile first), should include visually hidden headings, and has the bonus of a mobile menu toggle.

⚠️ Make sure you get confident with how to code a 'disclosure pattern' (like a mobile menu toggle) — It's something you will need to build countless times in your career and it is easy to make accessible if you look up how!

14. Advice generator app

Advice generator app challenge: A dark design with a simple quote in the center that gets regenerated from an API on click of the dice

As well as building on existing skills, this lets you practice fetching data from an API. That's super important in front end development!

You'll also need to use:

  • the aria-live attribute
  • well-structured HTML
  • accessible naming

15. Newsletter sign up form with success message

Newsletter sign up form with success message challenge: A simple looking component with intro, benefits list and sign up form alongside an illustration. The real challenge comes from making this challenge accessible

This one brings together some form validation and data use, styling challenges and content change announcements for assistive tech. A lovely little challenge!

Next Steps (months later)

In case you haven't noticed, the list has moved on to junior-level challenges! These are more complex, in terms of layout, interactivity or accessibility. Choose any junior challenge that looks like it will stretch you in the specific area you want to practice most. Hopefully, you'll be able to identify a good one for yourself from now.

If I could recommend any next step, beyond even these, it would be to attempt something with a theme toggle (or even add one to a challenge you've already done!)

Good luck, and have fun!