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A very skilled front end web developer that I know and respect, recommended that I look into creating Tumblr themes, as a means of building my portfolio up. I decided to check out the dash.generalassemb.ly tumblr project.

I skipped the HTML & CSS basics part I and went straight to part 2 BUILD A TUMBLR THEME FOR GENE. I feel, if you already have a good amount of HTML & CSS knowledge, you can do the same. The lesson was pretty straight forward. Be warned, you will get an error if you don’t have everything exactly the way they want. An extra space or a line of code on another line, will make it seem your code is wrong, even though it is semantically correct. It happened to me two times. Kind of annoying.

The lesson goes through the tumblr code and how you integrate it with HTML & CSS, to create a simple theme for a fictional character named Gene. After awhile, you will pick up the code and how to write it. Tumblr also provides you their own personal documentation on creating custom themes, which I plan to use a lot, since I don’t know all of their code. I learned how to go about creating/designing for each type of post Tumblr has, making the title appear as the headline, including the avatar, and how to add the like button, reblog button, & the associated notes. Here is the end result of my completion of the 6 sub lessons under part/step 2 of the lesson: my dash tumblr jsfiddle*.

I plan to check out some of the themes currently in tumblr and research how they went about using some features. I wonder if they just do the general HTML + tumblr markup, and then go about using the CSS for the layout. For example there are tumblr themes with a sidebar with the navigation links; possibly an aside, and then the main content area; section, to the right, where all the posts reside. Then are others with visible borders, an about section, navigation at the top, and an area for the posts. I may take a peek at the theme I’m currently using on my creative tumblr account, for a better idea.

On another note, does anyone have any sites, magazines, or books, that would increase my knowledge in UI/UX development? Now I see, after looking at websites every day, and looking at them with a critical eye, that I am cut out for UI development. I may not have all the skills yet, but I can definitely see myself, debating why something is placed in a specific area for the user’s advantage, with evidence to back it up of course. Plus, I have always loved working on the front end side.

Thanks for reading! Next time, maybe I’ll share you with my attempts with skrollr.js. Hopefully I will successfully implement it by next week, or at least understand the markup.

*Oy. I learned today that WordPress doesn’t like it when I try to insert code, using either, or a combination of both. -_-; Lesson learned. Will stick with jsfiddle or codepen, if I ever switch over to it.