Quick rant on Bootstrap
March 6, 2012
Tekfolio was built on bootstrap. What does that mean?
Bootstrap is a highly polished set of UI templates, CSS, and components that help developers rapidly build great looking websites without having to spend a ton of time on UI design.
This does not mean you should skip the UI part of web design. While bootstrap is great for prototyping ideas and mocking up living pages, UI design is not something that should be forgotten. In some cases, the application UI is the most important aspect of the entire website.
I’m not a graphic designer and that’s why I “skipped” the UI design part of Tekfolio. Yep, I just contradicted what I said. Oh well. But in reality I didn’t really skip the UI design of tekfolio. In contrast I gave the landing page a lot of thought. What to say, where to say it, how to provide examples, and a ton of other ticky-tac little things that drove me crazy to get right. I did rely heavily on vanilla bootstrap, but the content is all me. Once you are inside Tekfolio, you’ll notice I’m leaning on Bootstrap again. But I’m also making use of great open-source API’s (such as Harvest’s Chosen, for example) to try and improve the user experience.
Tekfolio has been a side-project that I care a lot about. It’s also a playground for learning and testing new ideas. I’ve re-written Tekfolio from the ground-up a few times now (in MVC, Rails, Backbone). As a programmer, this was time well spent on something I think I’m great at (server-side shenanigans), and not something I suck at (UI design). Bootstrap allow me to focus on awesome functionality while keeping the site looking respectable.
Is the design done? Of course not. It will never be done. However, it is usable today and that’s what I want. If Tekfolio gets more traffic, I won’t hesitate to hire an AWESOME graphic designer to help give Tekfolio a sexy face-lift, but until then, I’ve strapped-it-on!