The Design Ethic, Or Templates Can Be Good, TooPosted: 12 years and 4 weeks ago
In case you’re not actually seeing this post in its natural habitat, Lazy in the Blog has the new look above. Let me explain why.
I’m always looking at user interfaces, observing the widgets and styles people concoct to connect the user to the system. I look at my personal websites and constantly see things I want to change, this cycling iterative process of creation, criticism, and recreation. I may not be an artist, but I know
what I likewhat works. Even if I’m not able to construct the ideal thing that’s floating in my head, whatever I come up with is (hopefully) usable and visually appealing. When I come back to look at it later with a fresher mind, I’ll know what still needs to be done. Everything can always be better. Time and experience bring this philosophy to the forefront again and again.
This blog has gone through a few designs already in its young life. Nothing ever seems just right, so I keep trying new things. The current iteration is courtesy of Alive Themes. They call this particular theme Deep Blue. It’s cool, despite the blue really being more…warm. I suppose it relates to the deep blue of an ocean floor. The orange and gray contrast nicely. The design feels a bit heavy, in that it’s like you can feel the HTML and JS in the background weighing down the page just a little, slowing down the responsiveness. However, it’s good enough and I will work with it (at least until my wandering design ethic desires something new in the future (which it will)).
Normally, using a template is not my way. A developer and tinkerer are gonna want to make their own things, if feasible. I’ve surely made my own designs, including all of the HTML, CSS, and JS, so making a WordPress theme is not above my ability. Despite that realization, creating one from scratch is essentially like making a new website (minus the back-end logic), so it’s not something taken lightly. That’s why sometimes it’s better to let someone else tackle these things. When your site isn’t about making money or showing off your skills, and it’s just a place to put some thoughts, then I’m happy to handle the design reins over to someone else. At least, as a foundation. To be honest, I’ve already hacked this theme a bit to fix a bug and massage the layout to fit a wider-than-default logo because, well, it bugged me and needed to be done. I can’t stop every urge I have to fix things!
Templates are good ways to quickly get a nice-looking site up and running. There will always be drawbacks, though. In this case, the administration panel for the theme’s options locks many things down behind a paywall. Of course, if you know how themes work, you can get around this :-P The obvious conclusion of this kind of hacking through the back-door is a resounding “screw it, I’m going to roll my own.” That’s where my desire to make my own websites most likely came from originally. After going through the laborious process of making your own sites from scratch for several years, it’s nice to just grab a working copy without all of that labor. I’ll keep making my own sites from scratch when I want absolute control, but for this blog I think a template is the way to go for now.