Designing for the Unexpected

Before I began doing web design and education full-time I was the art director at Discovery Place, a children’s science museum in Charlotte, North Carolina. Like most children’s museums the exhibits were interactive and designed to engage kids by being hands-on and fun. Helping to design new exhibits was challenging and an amazing amount of fun. I learned a lot through this process, but perhaps the biggest lesson I learned was to attempt to expect the unexpected. read more

It's What You Make, Not How You Make It.

Lately there has been a lot of discussion about the pros and cons of authoring HTML and CSS directly in JavaScript. Since web design is a subject that people get pretty passionate about, there’s been a fair amount of heated debate over it. In one camp you have developers coming from an app-dev background who see it as an efficient way to architect sites and increase maintainability. On the other side you have web purists who feel the practice results in bad code and violates the separation of concerns that has formed the bedrock of the web for so long. read more

Blog Relaunch

Welcome to my Simple Primate blog relaunch! Around 2007 I started this blog as a way to connect with my students at Lodestone, discuss my speaking engagements, and promote my ever-growing catalog of courses on lynda.com. Shortly after starting it I made a change and became a full-time author at lynda. Unfortunately changing my focus had an almost immediate effect on my blog, which went dormant. I should have channeled even more energy into the blog and used it to supplement my courses, including all the details that I couldn’t fit into them. Truthfully though after a full day of writing for my courses I very rarely felt like firing the code editor back up and blogging. I also became very frustrated with WordPress. Unlike my friend Morten, I found it tedious to make minor edits and didn’t feel like becoming a WordPress developer just to build my blog the way I wanted to. read more

Jekyll Deployment Options

Once you’ve finished building your Jekyll site you’ll need to decide where and how you want to deploy it. Since Jekyll builds static content you can serve it almost anywhere. There are no server-side dependencies, CMS installations, database administrators, or server stacks to worry about. If the server can handle HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, it can serve your site. With that in mind let’s take a look at some of the most common options for deploying Jekyll sites. read more