It’s taken me faaaarrrrr too long, but I’ve finally gotten CartoonSmart cleaned up enough in the “new look” that I feel comfortable turning over the homepage to this redesign as well. Which marks the biggest design change since, er, probably the beginning of the site. Old habits die hard, and up until now, the header of the site has always been a bit cluttered. The logo took up most of the middle real estate with LOTS of links around it. Those days are done. On every page (other than the homepage), the logo is tucked up neatly in the top left, sharing equal header space with only seven other sections. Emphasis on “only seven”, because I’ve boiled down what CartoonSmart does best, into these categories.
Each broad topic above can contain multiple types of software taught (previously, the header contained a lot of Flash-only links), which lends itself to lots of room for expansion. Years ago, someone asked me “Do you want me to teach a Joomla tutorial?” And I thought to myself, “That means I’ll have to add a Joomla link somewhere in my already-overpopulated header.”
Why Bootstrap for the redesign? Bootstrap is a great framework, and I was particularly impressed with the responsive CSS features of it. If you were to load up CartoonSmart now on a desktop computer, tablet or tiny little smartphone, you would (for the most part) see the same images, but scaled (or re-stacked) to best fit the device you’re on. Also I have Bootstrap to thank for finally wrenching me away from using Dreamweaver for development. I know that’s blasphemy to the ears of some. Dreamweaver is great for non-coders, but darnit, I actually am a programmer. I like a black background with green text. I like closing tags, occassionally screwing up large spans of things, and having no idea how something will look until I make it live. Also I can truly attest that Bootstrap is a very “front-end” framework. It was rare I tinkered with the source CSS. There is a lot out-of-the-box so to speak. Hmm… Tutorial maybe? You betcha.
Anyway, go check out CartoonSmart 2.0, a little shy of our 10 year anniversary, we’ve got a nice clean look for the next decade (I was getting worried we would become the AintItCool of training sites).