Rapid prototyping and responsive webdesign are the major trends at Future of Web Design, London 2015. Pixelperfect designs in Photoshop are sooo dead. Design in the browser is the new kid in town.
The workshops are interesting because they give you:
- Contact with the business.
- Excellent speakers.
I attended Steve Fisher’s workshop on content strategies, and learned a lot. During the first part of the workshop Steve Fisher introduced his workflow. Then we had to try it out in groups.
With the responsive web new content strategies are needed. Several speakers focussed on the topic. ??? of the Guardian told about the redesign of the paper.
It was a story about failing, analysing and hard work before they found a formula. Perhaps not a silver bullet. But it works for the time being.
The design workflow
Of course designing in the browser will affect the workflow of the designer. In stead of painting his vision in Photoshop, the designer must work with code.
And the designer must test the production on several devices. Since there are litterally thousands of resolutions and screen sizes knowledge of libraries is important.
Perhaps code is not the first thing that comes to a designer’s mind. But as the designer from Envision said:
"It is not harder to learn code than to learn to use the graphical interface of Photoshop."
At an early stage the designer will be able to test the production on real devices with the real target audience and the costumers.
More than one speaker stressed on working with real content in order to get the tone and voice of the product.
Of course Photoshop is not entirely dead. You still need a tool for image manipulation.
Den Odell gave a very fine introduction to the future standards of HTML and CSS.
Christiano Betta introduced several libraries and validationg methods for credit card forms.
Even though most developers work with some kind of rapid prototyping framework they did not talk much about their rapid prototyping frameworks. They were mostly mentioned en passant. I’d have loved to hear more about this subjects.
Pen & Paper
The focus was clearly on content strategy, wireframing by pen & paper. Most developers talked about rapid prototyping directly in the browser.
There are many advantages when you design in the browser. You see the result immediately. If something must change, you don’t have to redraw the layout in some three to four resolutions in Photoshop. And recode your markup or stylesheet. The new workflow seems to look somewhat like this:
- Mock up a static prototype in HTML / CSS.
- Share your prototype with real content your prototype with the team, audience and customers.
- Improve and iterate.