Lately I’ve been playing around with my phone’s homescreen – trying to bring a little more aesthetic to the screen I look at about 1000 times a day. I’ve been drawing some inspiration from the contributors over at MyColorScreen – Some really awesome designs there.

So without further ado.. I give you “Smooth Criminal”

Smooth Criminal Home Screen

 

Here are the details…

The background came from the Zedge app, uploaded by “I_SULTAAN_I”. The icons were from an icon pack called Lucid Rounds. The weather and time and whatnot are all a single widget from the Zooper Widget app. I use Nova Launcher Prime as the very customizable (and highly recommended) launcher that allows me to replace icons and customize the layout. It’s set to a desktop grid of 9×5 icons, with the dock disabled. Most of the visible icons are actually links to folders with apps links inside.

So what do you think? Have you customized your home screen? If so, I would love to see it. I love Android. :)

I got the email from Bluehost that I’ve been dreading. The email that says that I’m going to have to pony up for another year of hosting if I want RickGalan.com to stay up. In a way it’s really a good thing though. It has springboarded an effort to get some value out of that money I’m spending. That effort has started with a quick retheming and redesign of the blog.
I have opted to go with a free theme called The Bootstrap. It’s a really clean and simple theme, which I think is necessary to remove barriers to writing. Low maintenance.
The other thing that is great about the theme, and one of the key reasons that I chose it was because it has what’s called a responsive layout. Responsive design  is a relatively recent design technique driven by the fact that there are a myriad devices and screen sizes people use to access the web. Content should be dynamic and respond to fit the different sizes and formats without having to load a completely different version of the site.
Want to see it in action? Visit the blog on your smartphone, tablet, or simply resize the window in Chrome or Firefox (pretty sure IE doesn’t do it). I still have a little work to do with the logo, but I think it’s slick. :)
Besides compatibility with mobile devices, another reason that I went to a responsive theme for the blog is because Google has flat out said that this is how they prefer websites to be designed in order to be crawled most efficiently for all devices. Pierre Far, a Webmaster Central Analyst for Google, mentioned this at SMX Advanced in June, and posted it on the Google Webmaster Central blog as well. I’ve found that when Google “strongly recommends” something, it’s worth looking into.
So there you have it. Renewed effort in blogging. At least this year’s hosting will have this post to show for it. :)