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The Web of yesterday
When I started doing this we were what you’d call a petit-comitè. I called myself a developer and worked with a great graphic designer, one of a kind. Our roles were crystal clear back then.
Seasons came, seasons went and we started getting deeper and deeper into it. As our imagination kept moving forward, our websites grew more and more complicated. We soon found ourselves in a crossroads and we were forced to rethink our whole model.
My journey into design started with typography, perhaps the only field where my man Felipe was not stunningly fluid. I never called myself ‘designer’, though, until I cut off from Adobe’s Creative Suite cold-turkey. Slowly but steadily my role evolved on to designing for functionality and interactivity, copywriting, structuring content, making layouts responsive, building strange custom web applications… Then I was designing. Felipe’s role evolved too, as he started getting gradually into development, my former side of things. It was from working together that we both expanded our notions and eventually our process. We were naturally responding to a new kind of situation.
The Web, today
Andy Rutledge is bolder than me when he says: ‘A designer who does not write markup and css is not designing for the web, but drawing pictures’. He’s right.
‘Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That’s not what we think design is. It’s not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works’ – Steve Jobs
It’s been about three years now since the Mobile-First/Responsive meteorite shook the Web community. It has been an arduous but beautiful process. Hard in rethinking the way we work but beautiful in that it opened up a wild ground for madly intense collaboration between everyone involved. We’ve seen every field of the profession coming together and sharing their wonders: techies on Progressive Enhancement, typographers on lettering, grids and layout, designers on workflow, content strategists on sensible structure, top-notch freelancers on how to handle clients… To remain on top of the situation, every kind of Web professional has had to cross enemy lines to create symbiotic partnerships, in some cases lifelong friendships. And of course, the up-and-coming generation finds itself full of strange creatures that don’t fall under any of the previous categories. They are something in and of themselves.
‘Web Design is Product Design’ – Andy Rutledge
Some time ago, thinking of a designer as just a ‘Graphic designer’ wouldn’t have made much sense. Designers were actively involved in obscure parts of the process. Carving wood, painting, modelling, sometimes building, gardening…
So who killed the product designer?
I haven’t been around long enough to have a clear view, but my guess would be compartmentalization. The sudden boom in demand might have driven companies to define enclosed cells of roles and responsibilities, or as Kim Goodwin puts it, ‘silos’; then to hire disposable professionals that would fit, silently contributing to the creation of a thick, standardized, leaden model that would stand the test of time and ensure high-level productivity.
People like Jared M. Spool are making public the interest of high-end companies in finding a new sort of profile. He calls it the Unicorn. He even went as far as creating the Unicorn Institute to groom this sort of designer. He is defining a position, a new Experience designer or UX Generalist, whose skills make them ready for this entirely new scenario.
He makes a clear division between Specialists (experts in one field over others), Generalists (experts in more than one field) and Compartmentalists (having expertise in only one area). He argues that neglecting the possibility of expanding your boundaries and falling into the compartmentalist category is a career-limiting decision. Plus it’s no fun.
Today’s way of things calls for a new kind of Web designer. A Jack-of-All-Trades, master of none. Startups are looking for the kind of folk that can follow the process end to end. Big enterprises for a more flexible worker that can move swiftly between the many aspects of a project, without hiding behind the barriers of their specialty.
The Web of tomorrow
A designer today has to be able to dodge dangers of many kinds. Today’s Web is dynamic, fast, adaptive, mobile-optimized, ready for the modern consumer, which is pretty much everywhere and thus totally unpredictable, very intelligent and thus easily annoyed; and capable of showing an unbelievable capacity to dive blindfolded, headfirst into information overload and not only survive but make something of it.
We’ve been exposed to some groundbreaking design work recently:
The journalistic community has seen incredible new layout techniques that may get to redefine the way content will be presented.   
More and more services are going online. We are seeing smarter, faster, stronger web applications that are way closer to software than what a blog ever was. Plus many either benefit from the advantage of being an online tool. Many are based upon collaboration, and what better place than the web?
  
Experiments with 3D graphics that resemble high-end videogames, straight in the browser. And so on.
We are not in a header-nav-content-sidebar-footer scenario anymore.
The skills needed to achieve the Web of tomorrow will mutate with the scenario. So changing the way we do websites starts by revising our process.
In Search of the Holy Grail
The First step is the hardest
There’s always a phase to devise how to build a product. It is critical that designers and their teams are aware of the technology at their disposal and show little fear in trying something new. Most of the time all this new tech is out there to make our lives easier, and yet you see so many people reject it every day.
Then there’s a time for envisioning the application.
Jacey Gulden smartly states: ‘Hanging on to older processes that include creating static wireframes and pixel-perfect mockups for design is counter-productive […]. Instead of spending time designing for […] device widths […], designers now have to focus on designing for content’.
The static mockup has seen its time in the spotlight. We are designing for dynamic scenarios now, so we need dynamic prototypes.
In her talk ‘Designing in the browser’, the awesome Divya Manian said: ‘Print tools give you an illusion of control that doesn’t exist on the Web’. She goes on to point out a number of things a Photoshop mockup will never be able to account for:
- Pixel perfection: never happened
- Feature uncertainty: browsers differ when handling effects, even the syntax is different
- Things never designed to interact together will end up interacting
- No control over content: take Google+ as a modern dynamic application. Never will anyone be able to mockup something such as this on Photoshop without a million problems.
So what better way to achieve this than diving straight into HTML? Here are some of her reasons. Out of the box, it makes you able to:
- Design around content and user interaction
- Design for complexity and uncertainty
- Find where design breaks the user experience
- Find where data breaks design
- The outcome is a template ready for any use
- Use print tools later on to optimize prototypes
There are tools out there to prototype in HTML in a very visual and easy way, like Easel, Divshot or JetStrap.
Good ol’ Photoshop and the Designer’s panacea
Fireworks and Photoshop can’t cut it for responsive design — they’re bringing a knife to a gun fight – Andy Clarke
Yeah. Andy Clarke also came up with one of the best reasons why Photoshop is no longer the best friend of the designer. Create a new document and it will ask you for its dimensions. Damn.
In a great short article -with a title pretty much straight to the point-, Kill Photoshop, Josh Long provides a very intelligent number of reasons why Photoshop should be murdered:
- It’s Double the Work
- Clients Can’t Use It
- You Can’t Make Changes Live
- CSS is Ready
- Photoshop is Expensive
- Photoshop is Static
- Photoshop Has No Prototype Value
- You Start with Content, Not Style
Some people are already looking for a strong contender.
To Jason Santa Maria, ‘How something behaves is interdependent on how it looks, sounds, reads, moves, and responds.’. We’d need a tool that can account for all this pieces of the puzzle.
The famous Project Meteor launched as a ‘campaign to demonstrate the demand for a modern web design app’. Some tools out there today do pretty good at handling the whole process, like Macaw, Webflow, or Adobe’s much expected Brackets.
Devin Halladay considers tools like this ‘Are making the web designer lazy’.
To me all of them are good choices. There is space for everything, and I actually find it very amusing to find new tools while thinking of new projects. It’s the exciting bit.
We shouldn’t be focusing on finding the perfect tool though, the panacea for the new designer. How about building a set of tools instead?
Take it apart, steal the parts that you like, and adapt them to your own way of working. — Joni Korpi
Luckily enough, there are great applications out there that handle specific parts of the process like no clairvoyant tool can do. There is Typecast, that lets you experiment with Web typography so easily that it makes you feel like an orchestra conductor. Then there’s Gridset, that can handle incredibly complex to downright simple responsive grids. And the Modular Scale, that started being really helpful for typography scaling and ended up visually teaching me to arrange layouts like I’d never done before. And so on. A designer can go crazy with all these shiny toys.
If you agree with Oliver Reichenstein in that ‘Web Design is 95% Typography’, what is best than ditching Photoshop’s weird type rendering and using a browser based tool, so you can build and test straight where the magic happens? This is invaluable stuff.
But not only typography can be worked in the browser. Ready to dive in?
Designing in the browser
I’ve seen way too many comments on blog posts saying something like ‘But that’s not designing in the browser, you’re using an editor!’. So let’s clear some assumptions first. Designing in the browser is not about using the browser as the one and only tool for designing.
Let’s change the phrase “designing in the browser” to “deciding in the browser.” – Dan Mall
It is all about having direct communication between design, code AND the browser. Start designing, see it in the browser. Change stuff, see it in the browser. And if you get to do it in mobile at the same time, all the better.
There are a number of concerns in Web design that can be cleared straight away with this method. For instance, your site’s readability. It is a great way to gain time too: when you’re deep into designing for different states and screen sizes you tend to focus and lose that habit of moving stuff one pixel up or down. The perfectionist inside of you will be too busy checking relationships between elements, fine-tuning interaction details, etc. The big picture will benefit from this as well, as you are producing something that works, as opposed to a picture of it. It feels like moving from a flight simulator onto the real deal… kinda.
In the browser I learned the value of letting content drive my way of developing. For example, I stopped using device media queries altogether. I started relying on visual cues when deciding where to insert a breakpoint. There was another time when suddenly it made no sense to make complex calculations anymore to account for margins, paddings, positioning… I started trusting my gut and experimenting with Developer Tools and learning to accept what was happening before my eyes. I grew so used to inspecting elements, rearranging them, playing with measurements, content and interactions that the habit ended up trickling down onto my everyday Internet activity. Now, whenever I stumble upon something that catches my eye – some layout detail, typography or anything interesting -, I find it very difficult to stop my urge to inspect it and play around with it. Questions start arising, like ‘What would happen to this thing if it had more text in it?’, ‘How does this guy float that there?’, ‘How in hell are the inline comments on Medium laid out?’. That last one I just had to include.
In the end, it’s all about learning how the browser handles the Web. It is not only possible but easy to learn to speak its language.
The first website I ever did I did in Chrome. I had no idea that by simply switching to Firefox it would look completely screwed. And my troubles got worse because I started testing it when I felt I’d finished it. It was a terrible week. But I’ll never stumble two times over that same stone. From that moment on I integrated visual testing in the development phase. And later on it became a crucial part of the design process. I ask myself how could I be OK with something if I never knew it would work?
Today I design and develop with my devices connected to the computer and I kind of catch problems before they even appear, this way. It’s become essential to me. I don’t trust my beautiful Apple stuff to fully represent the Wild, Wild Web, though. I never do 480, 768 or 1024px media queries anymore. And it feels liberating. If you haven’t yet, try Brad Frost’s awesome testing tool, Ish.. That’s a favorite of mine. It doesn’t rely on standard device resolutions. Instead, it chooses random values each time (Small-ish. Medium-ish. Large-ish). Your site should look great in all of those. For the mad ones, it includes a ‘Disco’ mode, like those old Casio keyboards, ‘to watch the viewport bounce around like a maniac’. Is your site up to this?
The Leap of Faith
In Spain, a lot of us speak English. Most of us don’t, really. It’s more like this: we think of something in Spanish, in our heads we translate it into English and then we verbalize it, with an accent. And we look like morons. That’s not really speaking languages. It’s more like half-assed interpreting. The day you start thinking in English you start speaking in English. The more confident you grow, the better you speak.
But the key lies in the method. What makes the fluent speakers different from those who plainly interpret languages? It’s the lack of fear when challenged with a conversation. You learn to speak by speaking.
As I see it, this is very related to a designer learning to code. After all, it’s language we’re talking about. It’s not until you make that leap of faith that you’re starting to truly learn how an application works. It might look scary but there’s many people that have already done it and loved it.
The time you spend in learning to design for the Web comes back full circle.
Back in the day it was an odd feeling for us. On one hand we felt like we were somehow breaking out a proven way of working. On the other hand it felt like we were gradually let in on a big secret. We were making up our own rules as we went along. We were making our journey more interesting and as we grew more confident, the result was becoming stronger.
We were redefining ourselves as designers.
 Christian Cantrell – Adobe Explores the Future of Responsive Digital Layout with National Geographic Content
 The New York Times – Reshaping New York
 Teehan+Lax – A Place for Sharing Ideas and Stories
Oliver Reichenstein – Design is How it Works
Andy Rutledge – Web Design is Product Design
Jared M. Spool – Why the Valley Wants Designers that Can Code
Julie Zhuo – How to Survive in Design (and in a Zombie Apocalypse)
Notes from Kim Goodwin’s – ‘Silo-Busting with Scenarios’ by Luke Wroblewski
Braden Kowitz – Hiring a designer: hunting the unicorn
Jeffrey Dalton – The Hybrid Designer
Jolie O’Dell – HOW TO: Be a Hybrid Designer/Developer
Tristan Denier – Redefining Web Designers, Web Developers, and Web Hybrids for the modern market
Andy Budd – Designing in the Browser is Not the Answer
Stephen Hay – Responsive Design Workflow @Mobilism 2012
Miranda Mulligan – Your Survival is Designed
Andy Clarke – Encouraging Better Client Participation In Responsive Design Projects (Article)
Harry Roberts – Normalising designs for better quality CSS
Jacey Gulden – Great Responsive Web Design is a Matter of Process
Simon Foster – The Responsive Designer (Video)
Josh Long – I Have No Idea What I’m Doing with Responsive Web Design
Jason Santa Maria – A Real Web Design Application
Tim Brown – Universal Typography @ Ready To Inspire
Jeffrey Zeldman – An InDesign For HTML and CSS?
John Nack – “CSS is the new Photoshop” (?)
Project Meteor Manifesto
Josh Long – Responsive Web Design in the Browser Part 2: The Tools
Javier Ghaemi – Is Photoshop Dead?
Josh Brewer – Photoshop you are a liar
Josh Long – Responsive Web Design in the Browser Part 1: Kill Photoshop
Meagan Fisher – Make Your Mockup in Markup
Dan Rubin – Hands-on Prototyping with HTML & CSS
Designing in the Browser
Divya Manian – Designing in the Browser @Front-Trends 2012
Max Luzuriaga – Designing In-Browser: A Manifesto
David Kizler – Deep dives into the browser
This article is directed to frustrated web designers. Now they can understand key design factors within no time. Thanks for an elegant share!
You should read more about Left Brain People vs Right Brain People. I had such a big laught whith your “Questions start arising” because while you need to see it to believe it a experienced UX/Designer/Creative/Artist does that exact same process in is mind while thinking about it.
Thanks for this article!
I’ve done a few responsive websites for clients. I’ve done them with static mockups (done in Fireworks) and without static mockups (in the browser)
I have to say that as much as I wanted to embrace the latter and make it work, based on all the evangelizing I had read online, I ended up spending SO MUCH TIME explaining stuff to clients.
I find that with static mockups, it’s much easier to manage clients’ expectations and to make them respect the process.
Without mockups, it’s really hard to manage their expectations because they then know how quick it is to make CSS changes. Maybe I did a bad job of it.
At the end, designing in the browser ironically doubled the amount of work that I did! For all the time I spent not mocking up in Fireworks, I ended up spending explaining stuff to the client and making changes that I found to be really frustrating.
Now when I do responsive sites I provide clients with static mockups for mobile, tablet, and desktop views, and make sure that everything is properly signed off before going into coding. Otherwise it’s a free-for-all and the number of revisions is endless.
Does anyone have tips on how to manage people’s expectations when designing in browser?? I would love to hear them! I am willing to give it a shot again 😀
This is a very edge case you’re talking about here. It’s true that by designing in the browser with a client you can end up making a hell of a lot of changes, but these changes are almost seamless and I think they would naturally find their way onto the final design. But that’s just me talking without seeing any examples.
The point about ‘designing’ mockups in the browser is to see them organizing and flowing without any interim stages, see them working right away. Imagine stripping your design of any shapes or colors and just seeing the information -the content- flow (‘responsively’) across different screens. You sign this off and then you go into designing in more detail, in Fireworks or Photoshop or whatever you choose. Then you sign that off and you implement it. This would just be a way of letting HTML and CSS (and a little JS, probably) into every stage of the process.
If you were building a more complex app, say a flight search engine or something, you need dynamic data coming in and out to actually provide a real mockup scenario. It’s not enough with a static one. Only when you see the data coming in and out you’ll have a true picture of how the app can look. And then you go and polish it up or give it a look.
I’m also trying to separate and give a space to two different design tasks. One is the application design and another is the branding or the visual detailing. We’re a bit in a loss of words still on how to name each one.
Hope this is of any help. Keep trying it out!
A great article on the web designer. Thanks for sharing your honest ideas.
Great article. Nice break-down of a very complicated subject, one that is hard to articulate even while you are living it! I especially appreciated the great resources and sources that you linked to in the reference section.
Poem. You’ve wrapped my thoughts (and probably 1000’s other designers’ too) in words and gave to me as an answer to the hardest questions. Thank you.
Great Article! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I’ve been a graphic designer for over 25 years. In that time I have seen my profession decimated by the internet. Programmers are now making asthetic decisions, all websites are converging into one ‘user-friendly’ design. Technology is restricting creativity for the first time.
Personally I think a lot of what you have written here is misguided or just wrong. Design is about creativity, not usability.
Hi Niall. Feel sorry, but it seems to me that you’ve been wrong for 25 years, which is a looooong time for having been wrong… Design is about creativity within usuability. Form and function. Both. Joined. Married and melt.
But if you read this (great) article, you may on the path to move along.
Print designers who stay far from printers workshops are wrong. They can’t understand what they’re doing if they don’t master (at least understand) the tools that are used to print its stuff : inks, screens, plates…
It’s simply the same with web design. Understanding the tools, the goals, the endeavours is not only useful but purely necessary. Mastering them is the only way to move from good to great.
Can we see some examples of sites created on the fly? The one in Divya Manian’s video isn’t particularly great..
You are speaking my language!
Thank you for the excellent read.
Excellent article with great resources and information! Thanks.
You are very hard on Photoshop. I don’t use it much myself, but I expect it will catch up and be useful again sometime in the next couple of years.
I know, a lot of people have told me. I thought I was being pretty light on it, seeing how people treat it out there in the Web but I guess I just gave in to the lynch mob. I still use it every day, I promise ^_^
Such a nice article. with great impose of images.
Still waiting on examples created on the fly… I even found some from people here agreeing with the article by their usernames, and they’re pretty average as well.
I understand what you’re saying, I completely agree but you know, I’ve been trying hard to find any examples. It seems not many people have made this process public. It might be because it is in its initial phases still and people are kind of embarrassed.
I found this though, I hope it is worth it. It’s about how british Vogue magazine redesigned their website with the help of typecast. The first is a little teaser and the second one is a sort of short conference
P.S.: sorry for taking so long..
And here’s Brad Frost in the middle of prototyping/wireframing in HTML
I have used Linux since the mid 90’s and any time I have made a site the only way you can do it is with a text editor and your browser. My GF has been doing it the same way since she started too, and many of my friends do it the same way, one is even a mac user and uses a editor called jed. I code php, so usually I usually don’t even make a html mockup of what I want to make, I write the code and let it create the page as I’m building it, and I have seen friends doing the same. I think for a lot of us we started with html before there were (decent) editors and it was easier to just design it real time in your editor.
Absolutely love this article, great stuff. Thank you for sharing.
Excellent, well written article!
Designing in the browser is way too much work, tried it, it isn’t a good practice. You have to at the very least have a wireframe before going to the browser but I prefer Photoshop, its not hard to use when you take the time to learn it and you have a solid idea to go from even if you change it up a little bit down the road.
This is exactly it.
Just awesome stuff. Keep it coming.
Gorka, your article is very informative. How you compare the past and present with your opinions is very enlightening to read. You are absolutely right when you say that ‘It is all about having direct communication between design, code AND the browser.’ This is the most easy way of implementing changes to see how all the design elements will look like when compiled together.
Thanks Amber! Really appreciate it 🙂
How can Photoshop be static and dull ??? This is THE program that is required to make your web visuals or illustrations attractive. Enough of this minimalistic web design and ugly or bland templates. Clients always require creativity from the web designer, not just empty designs. You can animate your website, make your website responsive or copy and paste anything jquery can provide, if basically you have nothing else to show than parallax effects, animated icons or WordPress skills, you should be the one to step up.
I’d be curious to know how, you, so skilled and modern web designers deal with clients that require photo montage or illustrations for their website ? Do you tell them you don’t deal with Photoshop ?
A good web designer embraces every possibilities to move forward with clients’ needs with no limitations when it comes to proper web design.
I very much agree that flat design’s overtaking of the internet has to be stopped at some point, but I think its success illustrates a need for a less heavy Web, more adaptable, quick and to the point.
To understand my point, I am separating two stages of design: design of the application and detailed visual design. I’m just saying that they should not be all mixed up in Photoshop, cause as much as it is the required application for that second stage I was talking about, it is like a mammoth for the first one. Big, slow and weak against predators 😛
I do think too that we need to see more complex websites in visual terms. But you can work on these aspects in parallel, without compromising the design of the application to make it fit for a very complex design. It would be a blast for me to see more artistic websites around but what I’m referring to is the 90% of websites we see everyday, where the concept is more simple but a lot of times done wrong anyway.
Damn, there’s so much I need to learn.
This is nothing more than left-brained propaganda. 😛
Very impressive writing and it’s awesome you added resources. I appreciate the time you have spent on this and how well written it is. All that said, this article is extremely short sighted, much too wordy and completely void of any foresight.
In my opinion, your points on the direction of our industry is spot on, your comprehension of design tools are not. It’s almost like something “clicked” inside your head about the process and you ran with that thought vs really thinking it through. Maybe to justify your weaknesses in the overall process.
Yes, you are right… you can “UPDATE” in the browser but if any part of the process is becoming irrelevant, it would be the front-end code and engineers who only know front-end. Photoshop is a release or two from exporting the html/css/js. It’s a lil dirty today, but they will work out the kinks.
Let me make it quick by responding to all your points::
Pixel perfection: never happened
—- uh, yes it did. look around man, pixelperfect design is very alive. maybe you need to work with better designers.
Feature uncertainty: browsers differ when handling effects, even the syntax is different
—- please see: Graceful Degradation
Things never designed to interact together will end up interacting
—- true but what does this have to do with photoshop?
No control over content: take Google+ as a modern dynamic application. Never will anyone be able to mockup something such as this on Photoshop without a million problems.
—- I wouldn’t know… I don’t think you know either if you were being honest.
Design around content and user interaction
—- yep.. again… iterations.
Design for complexity and uncertainty
Find where design breaks the user experience
Find where data breaks design
The outcome is a template ready for any use
Use print tools later on to optimize prototypes
—- learn photoshop before you knock it.
Fireworks and Photoshop can’t cut it for responsive design — they’re bringing a knife to a gun fight – Andy Clarke
—- anyone who knows anything about fighting would actually tell you a knife is always better. guns are stupid.
I understand a need for non-designers to validate his/her design abilities, but ripping apart one of the most important tools in the industry is a bit ignorant. Photoshop can do many things … yep, prototyping is one of them.
The point is… you don;t know what you’re talking about when it comes to design tools. Photoshop is not dead and will not be going anywhere for the foreseeable future.
Whoa dude, it seems it really hit you. I will only tell you to chill, I don’t think Photoshop will stop being useful and neither the author does. Please don’t get offended or anything because it is not my intention, but while reading your comment I was thinking the same thing you point out: you don’t know what you are talking about. Why? because it seems your didn’t exactly get the author’s point, which is not “Photoshop is dead” at all.
First, thank god for a harsh comment, I was thinking when would it come…
I accept your criticism. As I say I think somewhere in there, I haven’t been around much. I’m telling it as I discover it. But let’s have an open talk no?
I think you need to clarify your intention. I notice two trends in your comment:
One is actually close to making a point about Photoshop and the industry and the other one goes along the lines of ‘This is nothing more than left-brained propaganda. :P’, ‘maybe you need to work with better designers’, ‘It’s almost like something “clicked” inside your head’ or ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to design tools’.
Arguing with the second line of thought one is pointless, I’m not going to start insulting you back. Using it yourself shows that you’re not too sure of the first line of thought.
You can’t say Photoshop is a release or two from exporting HTML, CSS and JS. It was never meant for that. It already does it and does it very badly. Even if you look at what the company does, Adobe has taken a different direction by focusing on Brackets, a top notch editor with extra capabilities like this will show you, and tools like Adobe Shadow, etc. They know what’s coming and they are way prepared for it.
All the rest are other author’s points, and they’re pretty smart people. I think, though, what you are doing here is openly denying as many points as you can. I started writing a reply for all of them but I’m getting tired as I don’t think they need any justification. ‘Pixel perfect design’ is nowhere around. Graceful degradation is not related to how diff modern browsers handle effects. Photoshop cannot account for unwanted browser interaction. Etc, etc, etc.
But seriously, ‘a knife is better than a gun, a gun is stupid’? Dude…
Any of the other points you can discuss with me on private, just skype me: gorka.molero
All this said thanks for mentioning the writing, that I appreciate very much!
Have a great day sir
Damn I love when people are arguing like this over the internet. Easier for me to digest (kidding). I’m still new to web design though, in terms of solid practice since most of the time I’m just like you, inspecting over the website when I stumble upon something catchy. I might add that it might not be proper to use Adobe Photoshop on its own when it comes to wireframing, but then you can unleash its full potential by combining it with Edge Reflow and Adobe Generator which I’ve tried and I personally think it works great especially for those who are new to responsive web design. Combine together with Adobe Illustrator features of copying shape as SVG code, man, that really save you a lot of time when it comes to designing your wireframe. I haven’t tried Bracket yet, might give it a try later. Thanks anyway for well written articles.
The first website I ever made I did in a textarea field on Geocities back in 1996. Maybe that’s why Photoshop still works great for me 😉
Good read although I don’t agree on everything 🙂
excelente, muchisimas gracias!
Web design from the browser, sounds great, a new era has arrived, awesome article, congratulations.
This is nice post . My GF has been doing it the same way since she started too, and many of my friends do it the same way, one is even a mac user and uses a editor called jed. I code php, so usually I usually don’t even make a html mockup of what I want to make, I write the code and let it create the page as I’m building it, and I have seen friends doing the same.
I don’t know if I scrolled passed them, but are there sharing buttons on this page?
As I redesign my website, this is very true. What is the role of a web designer? Any web designer will tell you we are used to change and looking back, responsive design has shook up the game. Thanks for writing such an informative and thought provoking article.
Photoshop is still good for visual graphics such as banners and basic prototyping, but I design mostly in an IDE and browser. Illustrator is perhaps proving more useful these days with vector graphics for scalable UI. It would be great for someone to make a browser build which builds on inspector and acts more like an IDE. Im not talking about design view like in DW, but something which acts between ‘Live reload’ and inspector with the ability to write files using the browser.
The tools mentioned here are awesome and the article is really very knowledgeable! Specially the part where you mentioned “Jack of all trades, master of none” really hit me!
But don’t you thing for beginners the tools would cause harm, as they won’t be able to polish their basics the old fashioned way! (The way how it’s suppose to be)
Ahh the ultimate question of confusion, I’m actually really glad I stumbled on to this article, “We were redefining ourselves as designers.” When I was in school, I was suppose to pick between print graphic design, web, or web design, I wanted to be the jack of all trades though so learned everything. But you are right though, you have to be a master at something. Time to rethink my role as a web designer!
Great article, I found out some cool things about web designing nowadays. Didn’t know Photoshop isn’t as great as it was back then! Cool unicorn, by the way.