The Clever Monkey

Web Design is Hard

I keep tinkering with the layout and style of this site because I can’t quite get what I want. I messed around with a few Jekyll site generators, and stole some ideas from other GitHub Pages, but I couldn’t quite get what I wanted.

I learned a lot from poking about in other GitHub Pages, but at the end of the day many of these even simple sites do a little too much; or they do too much I don’t understand. Like many people, I needed to bring up my site from scratch so I grokked as much as I needed to.

I ran into the W3 Schools W3.CSS tutorial which isn’t really about beautiful pages, but it gave me enough to grab onto so I could leverage what I already know to make The Clever Monkey somewhat responsive and somewhat HTML5 semantically sane. Along the way I figured out much of what I need to know to get Jekyll and Liquid templating working, and found a nice set of plain icons hosted on a CDN by Font Awesome (thanks guys!) so I don’t even have to rescale the usual AIGA sign images I’ve been using for “decoration” on the old site.

So, here it is, in all it’s single column, blue-grey, sans-serif glory.

I still really like to learn how to make things a bit more beautiful, especially with regards to my rather busy article view. For example, it might be nice to have the article across columns, so tags and other metadata could be rendered next to the text instead of at the bottom. But one step at a time.

I still need to write a few Liquid template files to grok the Categories and Tags views and counts (and, you know, actually use categories) which might require some refactoring.

But, I think we are firmly into the beta stage of The Clever Monkey. Yay?