Skeleton is a small collection of CSS files that can help you rapidly develop sites that look beautiful at any size, be it a 17" laptop screen or an iPhone. Skeleton is built on three core principles:
Skeleton has a familiar, lightweight 960 grid as its base, but elegantly scales down to downsized browser windows, tablets, mobile phones (in landscape and portrait). Go ahead, resize this page!
Skeleton is a tool for rapid development. Get started fast with CSS best practices, a well-structured grid that makes mobile consideration easy, an organized file structure and super basic UI elements like lightly styled forms, buttons, tabs and more.
Skeleton is not a UI framework. It's a development kit that provides the most basic styles as a foundation, but is ready to adopt whatever your design or style is.
Skeleton's base grid is a variation of the 960 grid system. The syntax is simple and it's effective cross browser, but the awesome part is that it also has the flexibility to go mobile like a champ. Go ahead, resize the browser and watch as the layout reacts!
The typography of Skeleton is designed to create a strong hierarchy with basic styles. The primary font is the classic Helvetica Neue, but the font stack can be easily changed with just a couple adjustments. Regular paragraphs are set at a 14px base with 21px line height.
This is a blockquote style example. It stands out, but is awesomeDave Gamache, Skeleton Creator
Forms can be one of the biggest pains for web developers, but just use these dead simple styles and you should be good to go.
Skeleton uses a lot of media queries to serve the scalable grid, but also for the convenience of styling your site on different size screens. Skeleton's media queries are almost exclusively targeted at max and min widths rather than device sizes or orientations. The advantage of this is browsers and future mobile devices that don't map to exact set dimensions will still benefit from the styles. That being said, all of the queries were written to be optimal on Apple iOS devices. The built in media queries include:
Skeleton has been tested across as many devices and browsers as I could get my hands on:
There is a small hiccup though - older non-CSS3 browsers aren't going to respond to the media-queries and thus will be served the standard 960 grid even if they are resized. In the spirit of graceful degradation though, I'm going to let this be instead of trying to implement a JS solution. If you are interested in one though, try the respond.js polyfill.
Notes on IE: We all know sometimes IE doesn't behave, so through the genius of conditional CSS I've added a class of "ie" to all versions of the browser, as well as specific targets for each (i.e. "ie6", "ie7", "ie8"). It's not a perfect world, but hopefully this will help make naughty IE behave.
Skeleton has been in the wild for quite a few months now and reception has been pretty awesome so far. Nothing pleases me more than receiving emails about projects using Skeleton or constructive feedback (this is really the reason Skeleton gets better). Here is a quick list of some of the most awesome sites using Skeleton:
Skeleton also has been extended in a number of ways! These are the extensions I've heard of so far!
The Skeleton download is a zip file (~25kb) containing all the CSS groundwork to get started on any web project.Download Skeleton 1.2 from Github Download Skeleton PSD Template
The file structure for Skeleton is:
All parts of Skeleton are free to use and abuse under the open-source MIT license. The full licensing language can be found here: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php. More importantly, I would love to have a small community of contributors to Skeleton, so please feel free to jump over the Skeleton Github page and contribute to make Skeleton a better boilerplate for everyone!
A brief log of the history of Skeleton