Giving in to using a framework for CSS….

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a huge advocate for the ground-up approach to creating pretty much anything. I’m a girl that doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty and jumping into the trenches, if it means that I create something that is truly special for my users. My ground-up approach to crafting my initial pages in CSS was no exception. I was introduced to the idea of using Zurb Foundation for my site, which I took a look at. Actually, I more than took a look at using a framework for my site. I was ready to try something new in my design approach. After all, it was customizable, right? So, I dove straight in to my designing with this new tool. My problem was that I didn’t exactly understand how to utilize the tool, so when I dove straight in, it was akin to diving head-first into a pool with no water. It was painful… so painful, in fact, that I decided that I was going to abandon using this tool altogether, because, who needs a framework, right?

I set off on a mission to develop my own grid, using plain old Vanilla CSS. It was nothing more than a bunch of divs, right? Well…. Yes… and…. NO! I spent two days developing a “grid” system of my own, that looked like a hot mess. Elements didn’t act as I expected them to act… They weren’t responsive in certain browsers, even though I built my grid to be responsive. What the hell? I’d fix one element, only to break ten other elements. If using a framework was like diving head-first into a swimming pool with no water, creating my own grid system was akin to skydiving without a parachute.

After two days of beating my head into the wall, on designing my own system, I decided that I was re-inventing the wheel. I was also being very, very stubborn. I was ready to give in to the framework. Believe it or not, reading the documentation and watching the tutorials on the Zurb Foundation site, was actually helpful. Yes, I know…. This should have been my first step, but better late than never, right? Once, I took the time to research how Foundation worked, I realized that I could use the bits and pieces I needed, while customizing my site with my own styling. It was the best of both worlds…

What did I learn here? Well, first and foremost, I learned that I need to suck it up and not be so damn stubborn. There is no need to re-invent the wheel and using a framework does not make you a crappy designer. The framework is there to supplement your skills, not hamper them. Contrary to my prior belief, frameworks are not the great evil.

If you’re considering jumping ship and are “framework phobic”, take a look at these tutorials on Foundation. You might just change your mind…

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