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Child Theme Frameworks


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A look at child themes and frameworks from a UX perspective.

Published in: Design, Technology, Business
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Child Theme Frameworks

  1. 1. Child Theme Frameworksthrough the lens ofUser Experience RYAN GREEN @RYNGRN RYANGREEN.INFO #WCNASH12
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Ryan.Also known as Ryan Green.
  3. 3. I do User Experience.And love every second.
  4. 4. UX… what does it mean?No, it’s not double rainbow intense.
  5. 5. InteractionsDesign Analytics Usability
  6. 6. Who engages in UX?Hint: it’s someone you know.
  7. 7. You do!Told ya you knew.
  8. 8. Everyone has a uniqueexperience.
  9. 9. Child ThemesWho. What. When. How. Etc. WTF.
  10. 10. What are child themes? Straight from the horse’s mouth: “A WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality of another theme, called the parent theme, and allows you to modify, or add to, the functionality of that parent theme.”
  11. 11. And a theme framework?More from the codex:A stand-alone base/starter theme that is intendedeither to be forked into another theme, or else beused as a Parent Theme template.
  12. 12. Advantages to using a frameworkto create your child theme?
  13. 13. Advantage 1:Start with abulletproof themethat works out of thebox.
  14. 14. Advantage 1:Start with abulletproof themethat works out of thebox.
  15. 15. Advantage 2:In event of total meltdown…
  16. 16. Just delete itAnd start over!
  17. 17. Advantage 3:Roll multiple newthemes from acustom theme youalready created in notime!
  18. 18. Advantage 4:Stays up to date withlatest WordPressfunctionality &security.
  19. 19. Advantage 5:You don’t need to know PHP!The learning curve for developing new themeelements, moving or adding widgetized areas,and major architecture changes is steep.
  20. 20. Advantage 6:Visual design principles can be baked in.
  21. 21. Disadvantages to usingframeworks?
  22. 22. Disadvantage 1:Commitment! Picking a schema means you arelocked-in to learning it and using it.
  23. 23. Disadvantage 2:Creativity and visualdesign may be requiredin minimalist themes.
  24. 24. Disadvantage 3:Code bloat. Whena theme tries to beeverything to allpeople, it canmake for big files!
  25. 25. When to Use a Framework• When you are unfamiliar with PHP• When a solid codebase and security is crucial• When duplicating a current theme with minor changes.
  26. 26. So what makes a goodframework?How it feels or tastes? Best gradient? Blondest hair?
  27. 27. A Good Theme… Respects the Grid Uses Modern Code Easily Remodeled Cares About Usability
  28. 28. Respects the Grid• Consistent spacing• Utilizes a common grid system• Has a clear visual hierarchy
  29. 29. Uses Modern Code• HTML5• CSS3• jQuery• HTML5shiv / modernizr.js
  30. 30. Easily Remodeled• Core functionality• Widgetized areas• Navigation areas• Use the House Hunters approach
  31. 31. Cares About Usability• Phone. Tablet. Laptop. Desktop.• IA-friendly• Those with disabilities in your target audience
  32. 32. Included Frameworks Twenty-Ten Twenty-Eleven
  33. 33. Genesis • Many child themes pre-made • Tried and tested by thousands • Standard top-nav Layout
  34. 34. Genesis Layout. Easy to customize.
  35. 35. Genesis Layout. Easy to customize.
  36. 36. Genesis Layout. Easy to customize.
  37. 37. Thematic • Many child themes pre-made • Also tried and tested by thousands • Very changeable layout
  38. 38. Thematic Extendable.
  39. 39. Thematic Extendable.
  40. 40. Thematic Extendable.
  41. 41. Thesis • Design-forward theme • Optimized for load-times • Awesome typography options
  42. 42. Thesis Design-forward.
  43. 43. Thesis Design-forward.
  44. 44. Stumblr • Tumblr-style theme • Minimal configuration • Very content-focused
  45. 45. Barebones / Responsive• Skeleton• Starkers (Original) (1140px version)• Whiteboard• Roots• Bones (Mobile-First)
  46. 46. [Obligatory Cat Picture]
  47. 47. Wrap Up1. Every user that visits your site has an experience. Make sure it’s a good one.2. Theme frameworks are your quickest ticket to solid backend code and an updatable (aka: more secure) theme.3. Know your content. Know your audience. Determine whether a child theme is the route to take.4. Theme is Grid-minded, Coded modernly, Easily adaptable, Usable.
  48. 48. Thanks!Any Questions? Awesome Image Credits:Ryan Green • • • • •