We've got a new theme

Long ago, back in 2003-4, I was working on a Drupal theme that I wanted to share. As things go the theme became more and more specific for the site I was making and further from a general theme. I probably used the same post title to write about it. (It's inspired by this track from the Hamburglars)


Well I'm back at it again. I'm working on the Shed Theme - a theme that sheds out all of the unnecessary structural markup that comes out of the box with Drupal to the minimum. Here -  15 years later - I'm still making themes that turn off 90% of what Drupal outputs. Thankfully there are Twig templates now and I'm not spamming things with "display: none."

My plan is to develop this on a twig field-template level as much as possible to allow flexibility, while providing a structure which makes it easy to implement CSS Grid.

It's also an homage to the time I have for it - a backyard project. Right now I have overarching goals as I'm still developing this site and I've already split the theme I use here and made it a sub-theme.

Popsicle Summer!

This is a codepen demo of the new summer theme I developed for erima.me. Last year I was working on a new project that had a totally 80's theme. I shelved it and worked on this site instead. After redesigning my site a few weeks ago I felt it needed more vaporwave aesthetic and here we are.

You can download the source code on Github, it's a Drupal 8 theme. 

Case Study: New Visitor Onboarding UX

Getting people to understand what OCW offers while we had their attention is a challenge. A Publication Manager (PM) and I teamed up to create an onboarding experience that would help new visitors to get around OCW and understand what is offered.

Case Study: Screen Reader Accessibility

Someone visiting OCW using screen reader software would be given a sub-par experience: the screen reader would announce the site header, top navigation menu, and then, the footer menu, skipping the main content of a course, or its sub-section navigation. While there were ways to get to the content, they were not easy or user-friendly. Due to the nature of the site layout, changes to the visual design would be necessary, but it could not appear any different after the project ended.

Case Study: Incorporate MITx courses on OCW

OCW is designed around types of content: syllabi, readings, lecture videos, assignments, etc. The edX course platform was built with an entirely different site architecture than OCW. edX is designed around course progress: course text, quizzes, videos, etc, separated into time-based sequential units. When an MITx course ended, it would be taken down, unavailable to people who took the course and anyone else, unlike OCW which keeps courses up in perpetuity.

Road Trip Mix

A CSS Grid replication of the 90's Memorex cassette tape label.

Barebones CSS Grid

I made this barebones CSS Grid layout to see how little markup is required compared to the traditional CSS layout methods. It could be simpler too – I wanted to include named areas because I think it's absolutely brilliant.

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