What better way to start out talking about projects than a deeply personal project? And I don’t mean “deeply personal” in the same way that celebrities do; this is my own personal site.
The site is built using Trellis, Bedrock, Sage, and Bootstrap, and hosted on a Digital Ocean droplet. (In the interest of full disclosure, I do not receive any kickbacks from those links, so nothing in my life changes if you do or do not click on those links.) I knew Bootstrap, but the entire Roots stack was, um, a “fun and unique experience for me.” (Never let it be said that I don’t understand PR-speak.)
Trying to navigate the Roots discussion forum is a little bit like having your teeth pulled by a blind dentist, but their documentation is pretty solid. It was pretty easy to get everything set up, except for the frustrating moments when things do inevitably go wrong and I was forced into the blind dentist’s chair once again.
With the technical stuff out of the way, it was time to actually dig into my favorite part, the designing and developing. The peach and blue color scheme came from a theme that I was designing for the official theme repository, but never got completed. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take any useful screenshots during the entire designing and developing process, so instead, here’s some cute pictures of cats.
I’ve noticed that my designs tend to gravitate towards large tap targets, with generous amounts of white space, even though I still have a fair amount of dexterity remaining and I use an iPhone 6S+ and a 10.9” iPad Pro. (You can see this trend in my themes in the official theme repository as well.) Now, I could sit here and BS you all about the multiple websites I reviewed and all the studies I read about the appropriate amounts of white space to use, but.. well, actually, let’s just go with that.
As a general rule, I like to use similar styles for all navigation elements: archives, single post views, and comments. I have no actual evidence to back this up, mind you; it’s mostly because I think it looks nicer and it involves a lot less coding, too. I look forward to the day when my views on this are vindicated, so if you’re looking for a UX research project, there it is.
If I had taken more notes on the design process, I’d have a bit more to tell you, but I think I’ve covered the important parts. Hopefully you like the new site, and if you don’t, well, okay.