April 10, 2020 — First, I promise you I was never a disco fan. (You’re over 50 if you got that joke.)
But I gotta say. Gutenberg has changed everything, and I’m over the moon.
Standard layouts with grids of posts? Done in a couple of hours.
Wild and crazy layouts, with all kinds of things going every which way? Again, Gutenberg’s the star!
And not just in experimental for-designers’-eyes-only pages.
But home pages. Archive pages. Pages of posts. Single posts. Even WooCommerce shop pages!
So let’s get visual!
June 5, 2019 — I don’t want to say I’m old, but this was the most amazing tech going when I was in design school.
So I’ve tried all the new design tools! (Mostly). I’m a big fan of thumbnail sketches.
And I’ll do some sample layouts in Photoshop or XD or Affinity.
But as soon as I can, I head for the browser.
For a reality check? Sure.
But there’s also a heap of serendipity in them dev tools!
— For my vet, I stumbled on great typography just by hitting the Up and Down keys and seeing where they take me.
—Gutenberg and some new options in the Genesis Framework are making it easier than ever to build without thinking much about templates (the php kind).
— And you can hook your code editor right up to Chrome and see your changes (Local changes, of course!) come to life in real time!
So come take a look! If you love CSS like I love CSS, you’ll love designing elements and posts and pages — even entire sites — right in the browser!
July 10, 2018 — Are you thinking about CSS grids for your layouts? Browser support is just about here.
I’ve been looking hard at the work of Jen Simmons and Rachel Andrew, the two people writing most of the material to teach us designer/dev types what we need to know to start using this new spec.
And thanks to some time I’ve spent playing on CodePen, I think I’m ready to use grids in WordPress!
So let’s look at:
– WHAT CSS grids are.
– WHERE it makes sense to use them.
– HOW they help us make previously tough problems solve themselves.
– WHY grids are not just great for symmetrical layouts – but also wildly asymmetrical ones as well.
– And I’ll see you on the grid!
February 27, 2018 — Who’s ready to start using CSS grids in WordPress? Welp – I’ve got ‘em going in a couple Genesis child themes. Browsers are all in with support. They work with Flexbox, so we can use both at once. And they help make previously painful layout problems solve themselves. So let’s take a look at the hard work of the two engineers who have spent years getting these blocks stacking – CSS celebs Jen Simmons and Rachel Andrew. Let’s take a look at the simplest ways to use Grid, because at that level it’s pretty much indistinguishable from magic. For one thing, you can save floats for wrapping text around objects (and the swimming pool). For another, you can cut a whole lot of cruft from a style sheet. So what’re you waiting for? Let’s get our themes on the grid!
March 22, 2017 — There are 50 ways to leave your lover, 8 million stories in the naked city and now FIVE ways to lay out boxes in CSS:
– Floats and clears, the old standby;
– Display: block and inline, still highly useful;
– CSS grids (not ready for prime time)
– Display: table (why?)
– And my new favorite, Flexible boxes (flexbox).
October 27, 2016 — Never let it be said that this flying fat broad has body issues. Oh no. How many times have you needed to tweak a category of posts to make some element fit a little better? Or had a site with some content aimed at fashion-conscious adults – and another set of posts aimed at their kids? You could use all sorts of fancy taxonomy – custom post types or multisite, or some other foolishness. But I just don’t have the patience. But I do have a secret weapon. Body classes. They’ve gotten me out of more styling jams than Janet Jackson’s wardrobe staff. (Wait. That’s not saying much, is it?) Let’s take a look at how a good look through all those classes on your body tags can lead you to a world of styling options – with no malfunctions allowed.
May 11, 2016 — Are you tired of cranking out the same old header-content-footer web layouts we see? Wonder if a WP page even needs a header, or a footer? Wanna get seriously crazy with page layout in WP? I have two recommendations: 1. Make lots of thumbnail sketches. Then make some more. 2. Master the fine art of registering widget areas. If you can register a set of widget areas, and load them up with graphics, type and images, you can make a WP page look like ANYTHING. You can even make a phone screen look interesting!
August 17, 2015 — It’s easy to talk about designing for conversion until you decide you’re really going to do it. What design considerations really do matter for conversion? What’s the role of copy, given these two prevailing (and conflicting!) attitudes:
1. Just make the BUY button big and add a picture of a baby. Nobody reads the copy anyway.
2. Copy is everything! If someone really is in the market for your thing, they’ll read everything you have to say! (Just add a video of someone saying the exact same thing at the top, and use LOTS of subheads.)
Take a look at these points of view and more, on the road to converting your lookers to buyers, one press of that blue button* at a time.
June 20, 2014 — So how do we keep responsive WP sites from looking like each other? And where does mobile-first fit into all of this? What are the obstacles? The obvious approaches? This presentation looks at the ideal case, the bare-bones case and a middle ground – and some tools we can use to get started.