I am excited to launch the redesign of my site. In the v2 release I put in to practice some of the cool/emerging frontend technologies that will continue taking hold in 2013. In this post I’ll briefly go through what those technologies are.

My site is built on WordPress, so I started the redesign with a fresh copy of Underscores. Underscores is the most complete WordPress starter theme that I know of. What I like most about Underscores is that while it is a very robust starter theme, it doesn’t make too many design/markup assumptions. It’s neither too hot, nor too cold. It’s just right.

The next issue was deciding how to approach CSS. With preprocessors poised to hit their stride in 2013, I made the decision to work in Sass. Since WordPress requires the inclusion of a style.css file, my workflow was/is to compile and minify all SCSS files in to a master.css file. That file is then imported in to style.css. Although importing a single master file in to another master file is a bit redundant, keeping the style.css file in the mix just feels better – it keeps things WordPressy.

Next was the decision of design frameworks. To be honest, this was not a tough call. A tiny personal site like mine doesn’t require much planning and complexity. A framework would be counterproductive. The value of frameworks lie in large applications, complicated layouts and maintaining coding standards across multiple sites (namely client sites). My approach from the start was always mobile first and keeping things simple. No framework for me.

The last design decision was that of browser support. Again, this was a pretty simple decision. My market is me. I am a developer interested in moving the Web forward. So long as things look decent in the most recent version of IE (ergo all other browsers), I am happy.

With Underscores in place and the key design decisions made, it’s time to address my biggest challenge, JavaScript. As a designer, JavaScript has always taken a back seat to HTML and CSS. However, in 2013 I plan to change that. I am currently taking advantage of a couple JavaScript libraries in v2: jQuery and Enquire.js. Everyone knows what jQuery is, so I’ll save some keystrokes. Enquire.js is a very light-weight library that allows you to use media queries in JavaScript. I plan to do quite a bit more with JavaScript as I improve my skills – so stay tuned!

Well, that about wraps things up. I plan to address all of these topics in more detail throughout future posts. For now, happy browsing!

Posted by: John Dugan

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