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Accelerated Grid Theming

Accelerated Grid Theming

Talk I gave with Todd Nienkerk at Design 4 Drupal, on using the 960 Grid System in Drupal themes.

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Nathan Smith

March 02, 2012
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  1. Nathan Smith and Todd Nienkerk DrupalCamp Dallas | August 2,

    2009 Accelerated grid theming using NineSixty — +
  2. Personal introductions

  3. Photo of Nathan: Travis Isaacs; Photo of Todd: Kristin Hillery

    Todd Nienkerk Co-founder, designer, and developer Four Kitchens Drupal skill level: Expert(-ish)! Nathan Smith Designer and developer Fellowship Technologies Drupal skill level: N00b
  4. What is a grid system?

  5. Source: Grids are Good by Khoi Vinh and Mark Boulton

    History of the grid ‣ The practice of using a grid to guide design and page layout is nearly a century old ‣ In the 1910s and 1920s, ornamental design gave way to Rationalism and New Objectivity ‣ This shift in design was part of a much larger movement towards function over form ‣ Helvetica typeface and Bauhaus architecture
  6. Source: Grid (page layout) on Wikipedia ‣ After World War

    II, a number of graphic designers, influenced by the modernist ideas of Die neue Typographie (The New Typography), questioned the relevance of the conventional page layout of the time ‣ They devised a flexible system to help designers achieve coherency in organizing the page Typographic grids
  7. Source: Grids are Good by Khoi Vinh and Mark Boulton

    Nearly a century ago ‣ Modernists looked to build a new aesthetic by... ‣ deriving beauty from the innate qualities of the machine ‣ championing standardization ‣ Sound familiar?
  8. Source: Grids are Good by Khoi Vinh and Mark Boulton

    Today ‣ Web designers have turned to grid-based design in order to... ‣ derive beauty from the innate qualities of the browser ‣ champion standardization ‣ 16 years after the invention of the web, we are finally embracing a century-old design philosophy
  9. 1 Source: Software framework on Wikipedia Grid systems on the

    web ‣ On the web, grid systems usually take the form of CSS frameworks ‣ A framework is a “reuseable abstraction of code wrapped in a well-defined API”1 ‣ A collection of tools and shortcuts designed to minimize code and make your life easier
  10. Examples of frameworks ‣ Ruby on Rails is a well-known

    Ruby framework ‣ jQuery is a JavaScript framework ‣ Drupal itself can be considered a web application framework ‣ Includes many APIs for working with databases, fields, and web forms
  11. CSS frameworks ‣ Apply the principles of software frameworks to

    web design ‣ They provide standardized rules and shortcuts for: ‣ browser resets ‣ typography ‣ navigation ‣ print style ‣ and...
  12. Layout ‣ When applied to web design, grid systems are

    CSS frameworks that provides standardized rules and shortcuts for building a website’s layout
  13. JeffCroft.com | What’s not to love about CSS frameworks? “I’m

    convinced that the people railing against CSS frameworks are just trying to drum up some false job security.” —Jeff Croft, designer and author
  14. Why use a grid system?

  15. 1) Saves time 2) Saves money 3) Reduces frustration

  16. Stop reinventing the wheel ‣ Reduces the amount of CSS

    and markup you need to duplicate each time you start a project ‣ No need to refer to old projects to figure out how to implement layouts
  17. Photo from Lernaean Hydra on Wikipedia Multi-bodied hydra ‣ Many

    “dragons” share the same facade ‣ To render in a browser, all data has to pass through HTML ‣ .NET, ColdFusion, Java, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Python, etc.
  18. Stop fixing and start designing ‣ Shortens testing phases by

    providing built-in support for noncompliant browsers ‣ Minimize Internet Explorer hacks in your layout ‣ A well-tested grid system will rarely be the source of your problems
  19. Photo: Aaron Schmidt on Flickr (Creative Commons BY-NC-SA) “Embrace constraints”

    ‣ All modern displays support at least 1024×768 resolution ‣ Despite the many advances in web technology, it’s all just rectangles — Mark Kraemer, National UX Practice Lead, EMC.com
  20. Stop deconstructing CSS ‣ Understanding someone else’s design is much

    easier when a standard grid system is used
  21. Photo: jontidmarsh on Flickr (Creative Commons BY-SA) Enforcing a grid

    can accelerate design while maintaining order
  22. Think Vitamin | Web development is moving on — Are

    you? “Our craft is becoming a commodity and the people in charge don’t care about the quality of the markup, CSS or how short our JavaScript is. What matters is how fast you can get it to market, how many people it reaches and how cheaply it can be built.” —Christian Heilmann, Standards evangelist at Yahoo
  23. How do grid systems work?

  24. Example based on 960.gs (12-column) Columns ‣ Grid systems are

    built using columns ‣ Columns are a grid system’s smallest unit of measurement ‣ Most grid systems contain 12–16 columns
  25. Example based on 960.gs (12-column) Column width ‣ Page regions

    (header, content, sidebars, etc.) are defined by column width ‣ As in: “The header is eight columns wide”
  26. Example based on 960.gs (12-column) Gutters (margins) ‣ Margins or

    padding are used to create gutters between columns ‣ These gutters provide margins between page regions
  27. Lean and versatile CSS ‣ A grid system’s CSS should:

    ‣ Be lean and efficient ‣ Be versatile and reusable ‣ Ensure consistent behavior across all common browsers — even IE6
  28. Wrapping <div> elements ‣ In fixed-width grid systems, the entire

    layout is wrapped inside a single <div> element ‣ <div> elements wrap the page regions and define their widths according to the number of columns they span ‣ These <div> elements may be nested to create regions within regions
  29. Example based on 960.gs (12-column) Floating <div> elements ‣ The

    wrapping <div> elements are assigned a column width using a CSS class ‣ Because these classes also float the elements, they simply fall into place on the page class: grid-12 class: grid-8 class: grid-4 class: grid-4 class: grid-4 class: grid-6 class: grid-6
  30. What can grid systems look like? Examples of grid-based layouts

  31. Example based on 960.gs (12-column) Layout A: Content left, sidebar

    right
  32. Example based on 960.gs (12-column) Layout B: Content between sidebars

  33. Example based on 960.gs (12-column) Layout C: Content right with

    two left sidebars
  34. Example based on 960.gs (12-column) Layout D: Whatever

  35. Painting by Piet Mondriaan (later Mondrian) Layout E: The Mondriaan

  36. How 960.gs works

  37. Source: 960.gs What is 960.gs? ‣ 960.gs — also known

    as the 960 Grid System — was created by Nathan Smith in order to “streamline web development workflow” ‣ It’s both a prototyping and development framework ‣ “The premise of the system is ideally suited to rapid prototyping, but it would work equally well when integrated into a production environment.”
  38. Subtraction.com | Grid Computing… and Design Inspiration: Khoi Vinh

  39. Cameron Moll | Gridding the 960 Inspiration: Cameron Moll

  40. Adaptive Path | Sketchboards: Discover Better + Faster UX Solutions

    Inspiration: Brandon Schauer
  41. Source: 960.gs ‣ Download it for free at http://960.gs ‣

    GPL and MIT licensed ‣ The 960.gs download includes: ‣ Printable sketch sheets for doodling ‣ Design templates for all most applications: Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkscape, OmniGraffle, etc. What’s in it
  42. Source: 960.gs Technical specs ‣ 960px wide with a 940px

    usable area ‣ Two versions: 12- and 16-column ‣ These can be implemented separately or simultaneously ‣ Each column has a 10px margin on the left and right, which creates a 20px gutter between columns
  43. Source: 960.gs 12-column version Columns are 60px wide Gutters are

    20px wide 10px margin on the left and right prevents collision with browser chrome Available working area is 940px wide
  44. Source: 960.gs 16-column version Columns are 40px wide Everything else

    remains the same
  45. Halves Quarters Using both versions simultaneously ‣ 12- and 16-column

    layouts can be used on the same page
  46. ‣ This flexibility allows designers to work with both 60px-

    and 40px-wide columns ‣ If 12 or 16 columns don’t suit you, 960 is also divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15, 20, 24, 30, 32, 40, 48, 60, 64, 80, 96, 120, 160, 192, 240, 320 and 480
  47. CSS and markup Note: 960.gs uses underscores in its CSS

    class names. To avoid confusion, the examples that follow will use hyphens instead, as this is The Drupal Way.
  48. Containers ‣ Grids must be wrapped in a container <div>

    ‣ Containers center the content and define which version of the grid will be implemented .container-12, .container-16 { margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; width: 960px; }
  49. Grids ‣ Grids are held inside containers and are floated

    left so they fall into place automatically ‣ They also provide 10px margins on the left and right .grid-1, .grid-2, .grid-3, ... .grid-16 { display: inline; float: left; position: relative; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; }
  50. Grid widths ‣ The width of each grid is determined

    by the container that wraps it ‣ For example, a one- column grid is either 60px or 40px depending on whether it’s a 12- or 16-column layout .container-12 .grid-1 { width: 60px; } .container-16 .grid-1 { width: 40px; }
  51. ‣ Note that grid width does not increase by 60px

    or 40px each time ‣ Each increase must account for the 20px gutter between grids .container-12 .grid-1 { width: 60px; } .container-12 .grid-2 { width: 140px; } .container-12 .grid-3 { width: 300px; } .container-16 .grid-1 { width: 40px; } .container-16 .grid-2 { width: 100px; } .container-16 .grid-3 { width: 160px; }
  52. Putting containers and grids together .grid-3 .grid-6 .grid-3 .container-12

  53. Prefixes and suffixes ‣ If you want to leave space

    between columns, use a prefix or suffix class ‣ Prefix classes add padding to the left of a column ‣ Suffix classes add padding to the right .container-12 .prefix-1 { padding-left: 80px; } .container-12 .suffix-1 { padding-right: 80px; }
  54. Adding a prefix and suffix .grid-3 .grid-4 .prefix-1 .suffix-1 .grid-3

    .container-12
  55. Multiple rows .grid-3 .grid-4 .prefix-1 .suffix-1 .grid-3 .container-12 .grid-12

  56. Multiple rows: markup <div class="container-12"> <!-- row 1 --> <div

    class="grid-12"> This grid occupies the full width </div> <!-- row 2 --> <div class="grid-3"> One wide </div> <div class="grid-4 prefix-1 suffix-1"> Four wide with a prefix and suffix of one each </div> <div class="grid-3"> One wide </div> </div> <!-- /container --> No need to put each row in its own wrapping <div> The container <div> defines the layout version in use
  57. Stack content vertically with nested grids .grid-3 .grid-6 .grid-3 .container-12

    .grid-6 .grid-6
  58. ‣ Here’s the catch: Because each grid includes a 10px

    left and right margin, nesting grids can break your layout .grid-3 .grid-6 .grid-3 .container-12 .grid-6 .grid-6
  59. Alpha and omega fix broken nesting ‣ When nesting grids,

    use the alpha and omega classes to remove the margins ‣ alpha removes the left margin. It’s the first nested grid. ‣ omega removes the right margin. It’s the last nested grid.
  60. .grid-3 .grid-3 .alpha .grid-3 .container-12 .grid-6 .alpha .omega .grid-3 .omega

    .grid-6 .alpha removed the left margin .omega removed the right margin
  61. Onehub.com | Why We Chose 960.gs for Our CSS Framework

    “In the time you could argue the relevance of naming conventions like these, I just built a 16 column layout.” —Matthew Anderson, designer at OneHub.com
  62. Additional resources ‣ 960 Gridder and bookmarklet ‣ Variable grid

    system generator ‣ Other grid systems based on 960.gs ‣ Fluid 960.gs ‣ Typogridphy: Typographical and grid layout CSS framework ‣ and...
  63. The NineSixty theme http://drupal.org/project/ninesixty

  64. Source: Drupal.org About NineSixty ‣ NineSixty is the Drupal port

    of 960.gs ‣ Developed by Joon Park, aka dvessel on Drupal.org ‣ Intended to be used as a base theme ‣ Currently a candidate for Drupal 7 core ‣ Follow the debate on groups.drupal.org
  65. NineSixty’s improvements ‣ Content-first layout using “push” and “pull” classes

    ‣ These classes have been added back to 960.gs ‣ Dynamic grid widths based on context ‣ Debugging tools and grid visualization ‣ Right-to-left (RTL) language support
  66. Content-first layout ‣ A design convention in which the content

    is output as close to the top of the markup as possible ‣ Content should be output before all sidebars ‣ Some designers believe it should be output before a site’s main navigation ‣ This can be very difficult to achieve on a site with one or more left columns
  67. Push and pull classes ‣ Content-first layout can be achieved

    in NineSixty by “pushing” the content grid to the right while “pulling” a sidebar to the left ‣ These classes use the same naming convention as .grid-X, .prefix-X, and .suffix-X, where X is the grid’s width: ‣ .push-X and .pull-X
  68. Source: NineSixty’s README.txt ‣ Push and pull values should match

    the grid value of the opposite grid <div class="container-12"> <div id="content" class="grid-6 push-3"> Content </div> <div id="sidebar-left" class="grid-3 pull-6"> Sidebar: Left </div> <div id="sidebar-right" class="grid-3"> Sidebar: Right </div> </div> Match numbers to swap locations
  69. .container-12 .grid-3 .grid-6 .grid-3 <div class="container-12"> <div id="content" class="grid-6"> Content

    </div> <div id="sidebar-left" class="grid-3"> Sidebar: Left </div> <div id="sidebar-right" class="grid-3"> Sidebar: Right </div> </div> Before adding push and pull
  70. <div class="container-12"> <div id="content" class="grid-6 push-3"> Content </div> <div id="sidebar-left"

    class="grid-3 pull-6"> Sidebar: Left </div> <div id="sidebar-right" class="grid-3"> Sidebar: Right </div> </div> After adding push and pull .container-12 .grid-3 .pull-6 .grid-6 .push-3 .grid-3
  71. Dynamic grid widths ‣ In some cases, you may want

    grids to resize themselves when a region isn’t populated ‣ For example, a 3-6-3 layout should become 3-9 if the right column is empty ‣ Dynamic width assignment is handled using the ns() function ‣ Defined in template.php
  72. ‣ X, Y, and Z are all width values ‣

    class can be grid, prefix, suffix, push, or pull ‣ $region can be any theme region ‣ Use as many pairs as you like Structure of ns() ns('class-X', $region, Y, $region, Z, ...) Default value These “pairs” subtract from the default value
  73. Source: NineSixty’s page.tpl.php Implementing ns() <div id="main" class="column <?php print

    ns('grid-16', $left, 4, $right, 3) . ' ' . ns('push-4', !$left, 4); ?>"> <?php print $content; ?> </div> <?php if ($left): ?> <div id="sidebar-left" class="column sidebar region grid-4 <? php print ns('pull-12', $right, 3); ?>"> <?php print $left; ?> </div> <?php endif; ?> <?php if ($right): ?> <div id="sidebar-right" class="column sidebar region grid-3"> <?php print $right; ?> </div> <?php endif; ?> From page.tpl.php:
  74. Source: NineSixty’s page.tpl.php <?php print ns('grid-16', $left, 4, $right, 3)

    . ' ' . ns('push-4', !$left, 4); ?> From #main: ns('grid-16', $left, 4, $right, 3) ns('push-4', !$left, 4) Default width If left sidebar is present, subtract 4 from default width. If right sidebar is present, subtract 3 from default width. If left sidebar is not present, subtract 4 from the push value. This will result in no push, as 4-4 = 0 Default push value
  75. Source: NineSixty’s page.tpl.php <?php php print ns('pull-12', $right, 3); ?>

    From #sidebar-left: ns('pull-12', $right, 3) Default pull value If right sidebar is present, subtract 3 from default pull value
  76. NineSixty in action ‣ Visit http://ninesixty.fkdemos.com to see how NineSixty...

    ‣ uses push and pull classes to generate content- first layout ‣ dynamically assigns grid widths based on context ‣ can be used to create different layouts
  77. ‣ Split 12- and 16-column CSS into separate files ‣

    Slimmer CSS and faster page loads ‣ Add vertical rhythm ‣ Standardized, more professional typesetting ‣ See A List Apart’s “Setting type on the web” Planned improvements to NineSixty Source: Joon Park's Twitter feed (@dvessel)
  78. Implementing a grid- based layout Using NineSixty to build your

    site
  79. When not to use a grid ‣ Implementing a grid

    will probably be impossible if your site’s layout... ‣ uses irregular column sizes ‣ has irregular margins or gutters ‣ has a width that isn’t divisible by a sane number
  80. ‣ Implementing a grid will be difficult — but not

    impossible — if your site’s layout... ‣ has gutter widths of odd numbers ‣ is fluid ‣ wasn’t designed on a grid
  81. Getting started ‣ Do not change the NineSixty theme on

    your site! ‣ Hacking NineSixty is like hacking core: It will make upgrading your site very difficult ‣ Instead, subtheme NineSixty or create a totally new theme based on NineSixty
  82. Subtheme ‣ This method is best if your site is

    (or can be) 960px wide and can utilize 12 or 16 columns ‣ Subtheming instructions and resources on Drupal.org: ‣ Subtheming quick and dirty ‣ Sub-themes, their structure and inheritance
  83. Build a new theme ‣ You should build a new

    theme when your site’s layout... ‣ isn’t 960px wide ‣ doesn’t use 12 or 16 columns ‣ It’s more efficient to use a new theme than to override virtually all of NineSixty’s CSS
  84. Image source: Client project Do the math ‣ Be prepared

    to crunch numbers ‣ Building a new theme can be very confusing ‣ Spreadsheets can help you visualize column, margins, and gutters
  85. ‣ Examples (remember that the true “canvas” size of 960.gs

    is actually 940px): ‣ (940 - ((12 - 1) x 20)) ÷ 12 = 60 ‣ (940 - ((16 - 1) x 20)) ÷ 16 = 40 Source: Grids are Good by Khoi Vinh and Mark Boulton The grid equation (Canvas - ((Total units - 1) x Gutter)) ÷ Total units = Unit
  86. 960.gs as a development and prototyping system Examples

  87. Refresh Boston: 16 columns refreshboston.org

  88. Convertbot: 16 columns tapbots.com/convertbot

  89. Pepsi comp: 16 columns

  90. Credits AAFES comp: 12 columns

  91. stopdesign.com 12 columns stopdesign.com

  92. Drupal.org redesign: 12 columns infrastructure.drupal.org/drupal.org-style-guide/prototype.html

  93. Four Kitchens’ company website Case study

  94. Source: fourkitchens.com ‣ Subtheme of NineSixty ‣ 12-column version

  95. Source: fourkitchens.com/blog

  96. Source: fourkitchens.com/blog Right column grid-3 Header promos grid-4 Content column

    grid-8 Gutter grid-1
  97. Source: fourkitchens.com

  98. Source: fourkitchens.com Right column grid-3 Content column grid-8 Gutter grid-1

    Footer columns grid-3 Sub-footer right column grid-3 Sub-footer content column grid-8 Gutter grid-1
  99. Appendix

  100. Learn more about grids ‣ The Grid System ‣ “The

    ultimate resource in grid systems” ‣ The Grid System’s Flickr pool ‣ My bookmarks tagged “gridsystems”
  101. Downloads ‣ 960 grid system: 960.gs ‣ NineSixty theme for

    Drupal: drupal.org/project/ ninesixty ‣ This and other presentations are available for download at fourkitchens.com/presentations
  102. Contact Nathan ‣ Email: nathan@sonspring.com ‣ Twitter: twitter.com/nathansmith

  103. Contact Todd ‣ Email: todd@fourkitchens.com ‣ also works for Google

    Chat and AIM ‣ Skype: toddatfk ‣ Twitter: twitter.com/toddross
  104. Credits ‣ “History of the grid” slides were borrowed heavily

    from Khoi Vinh and Mark Boulton’s presentation Grids are Good and from Wikipedia ‣ Piet Mondriaan painting was found somewhere online. Copyright holder is unknown ‣ The items listed above are exempt from this presentation’s Creative Commons license ‣ This presentation was created and delivered by Nathan Smith of Fellowship Tech and Todd Ross Nienkerk, co-founder of Four Kitchens
  105. All content in this presentation, except where noted otherwise, is

    Creative Commons Attribution- ShareAlike 3.0 licensed and copyright 2009 Four Kitchen Studios, LLC.