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The Coding Designer's Survival Kit

A Toolset for Designing Web Sites in the Browser


  1. A set of starter HTML files to rapidly create a living style guide with most common HTML elements and ui patterns. It's easy to design and style these as is or customize them to your needs. Plus there's a blank page, based on the HTML5 Boilerplate. Fill that with content and it won't be blank anymore.
  2. A set of Sass mixins and patterns.
  3. A flexible and comprehensive Sass workflow that focuses on giving you a ton of tools, but makes very few assumptions on how you'll use them. Keep your css clean and minimal, go mobile first, or build a very custom responsive site.
  4. Your favorite open source javascript libraries. But you don't need them all, all the time. The Survival Kit keeps them in a "side drawer" and you can experiment or use them as you need them.
  5. A set of templates for creating Style Tiles, a very useful tool for conveying design concepts to clients.

Using the Survival Kit

The Survival Kit is a Compass extension. That means that you need to be using Sass and Compass, but you already are, right? It uses the "install" command from Compass to write the html, sass or scss, javascript and other assets into the directories you specify in your Compass configuration file.


  1. Install Sass and Compass, if you haven't already.
  2. Terminal: gem install survivalkit

For Existing Compass Projects

  1. Add require 'survivalkit' in Compass's config.rb file
  2. Terminal: navigate to your project directory: cd PATH_TO_YOUR_PROJECT
  3. Terminal: compass install survivalkit

For New Compass Projects

  1. Terminal: compass create my_project -r survivalkit -u survivalkit --javascripts-dir js --css-dir css
Note on Sass Warnings

When you first install or compile you may see some Sass warnings in your compiler. like: WARNING on line 4: This selector doesn't have any properties and will not be rendered.

These are compilation warnings, but they're intentional. I set up the sass files with many stub selectors that have no css properties. This way you can fill them in with the values you want, or simply leave them blank. If you leave them blank Sass omits them at compilation, but issues a warning on the assumption that you wanted to add a style there. I don't know of a way to suppress that warning during installation.

Getting Started

I've created an intro screencast and a video podcast about using the Kit while designing in the browser at The Coding Designer I'll be recording a new video soon.



These Compass extensions (and more) are pretty awesome.

Acknowledgements, Installation, & Documentation


Licensed under MIT/GPL.

GPL2 license:

MIT license:

Except included open source projects:

  • BigText: MIT/GPL
  • Dynamic-Carousel: MIT
  • flexie: MIT
  • flickrbomb: MIT
  • formalize: MIT/GPL
  • FitText: WTFPL license
  • Geared-Scrolling: MIT
  • Lettering.js: WTFPL license
  • PaintbrushJS: MIT
  • Respond: MIT/GPLv2
  • Sticky-Footer-jQuery-Plugin: MIT
  • html5-boilerplate: public domain
  • iSwipe-jQuery-Plugin: MIT
  • infinite-scroll: MIT
  • jquery-lightbox: BSD
  • jquery-ui: MIT/GPL
  • modernizr: BSD/MIT
  • pie: Apache/GPL
  • scrollability: Apache
  • joyride: MIT
  • orbit: MIT
  • reveal: MIT
  • flexslider: MIT
  • fitvids: WTFPL license
  • deorphan: MIT/GPL


Tools and defaults for designing websites in the brower.






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