Beyond Static: Design Deliverables

Lea Alcantara

In today’s mobile world, providing design deliverables in the browser creates a more productive experience for your clients and your team. But does this mean our library of static deliverables is out-of-date? In our fast-paced industry, how do we balance budgets and timelines, while ensuring our design process reflects the realities of mobile devices?

I attempted to answer these questions (and more!) at ConvergeSE in Columbia, SC:

I created Beyond Static: Design Deliverables as a design accompaniment to Emily’s more development-focused talk regarding Bright Umbrella’s internal framework (dubbed Starter Files). My presentation was a show-and-tell of actual client examples of what we’re doing here at Bright Umbrella — including what didn’t work and what we’re trying to do now!

Key Takeaways

Be sure to check out the slide deck, but here’s a TL;DR version:

  • Static deliverables still have a place for internal and client discussions. Use what helps convey your ideas most effectively.
  • New design deliverables = new client expectations. Communicate early and often with your clients so you can understand their needs and set expectations. Only then should you decide what deliverables remain static and what can be dynamic.
  • Lives Wires as a replacement to our static wireframes has been a game changer in terms of communicating responsive ideas to clients early in the project (and getting a jump on production code).
  • Use the tool that works for your design thinking. Whether that’s Photoshop or not, frankly, who cares? If it looks good and works well in the end, that’s all that matters.
  • Think about what you can do at the start of the project and how it can inform the end — design systems, not pages.
  • Time is money.

And definitely peruse these rad Sketch Notes:

Beyond Static sketchnotes!
Phil Barbato's Sketch Notes

We're All Human

The web industry can be rather isolating when the primary communication is between you and your computer. As a designer, I go through the clichéd artist cycle of doubt: hating my work, working super hard and gaining confidence, loving what I’ve done, then back again — often because I make the mistake of comparing myself to my heroes.

Comparison is the death of joy

Mark Twain

One of the biggest lessons I learned from ConvergeSE was seeing how we attack the same problem from different angles, and that even the people we look up to make mistakes before they get to the finished product:

  • Samantha Warren, who was a recent guest on CTRL+CLICK CAST, discussed her beginner’s journey as a ceramicist and how it relates to designing for the web — we were all beginners at one point!
  • Elyse Holladay pulled no punches and simply declared: “I Have No Idea What I’m Doing.” (I am also a sucker for a good animated GIF, and Elyse tapped right into my meme-loving soul.)
  • In the development spectrum, Zoe Gillenwater lamented about CSS Lessons Learned the Hard Way with actual “fail” examples and accompanying “win” outcomes — but most importantly, understanding the why of the fail in the first place!

ConvergeSE was a great event! I loved hearing our colleagues discuss their thought processes and journeys as web professionals — and important reminder that while we see the amazing finished work, we don’t always see the stumbles along the way. One day, this message may actually stick (though I’ll keep trying to remind myself).

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