Most often the most contentous part is the visual design. Doing
things the old way far too many times a design was chosen that did not
fit the true content. I also found that information structure has a
bigger impact on the site performing for the users than the visual
Often content is a second thought in the design or redesign process.
By making content the priority up front and not the visual design the
site actually comes together more quickly, the site structure can be
tested in the XHTML clickable wireframes (corrections to placement and
rough visual treatments made here so that the site works better for
the people using it and this has really impressed my clients when they
see it happen), and the pain of not having content or content that
does not fit the design is solved up front and not at the last minute.
How does this solve the client that want the visual comps up front?
It is an education process. Talk the client through what works and
does not work or what they would like the site to do. Ask the client
if the customers come to the site for the design look at it and leave.
If that is the purpose of the site agree with them that the visual
design should be done first. If not, explain the design must be
matched to the content, their business goals, and the people who use
the site. The toughest of these are content and the users, as most
clients are very familiar with their business goals. Working with the
content first will give you and your client something to work with
when assessing how to best structure then design for the users.
When these steps are done the options for design have been narrowed.
At this point you can provide vastly different designs that actually
will work and test them on the client and user. Now the "more yellow"
and "make it bigger" discussions can come into play. The
implementation of the design, once it is selected, at this point is
rather quick as it is just applying a stylesheet.
All the best,
On Wed, 8 Dec 2004 13:46:40 -0500, Lisa Hoppes [EMAIL-REMOVED]> wrote:
> Your process sounds a lot like what I do with my personal site, when
> it's just me I have to please and the finished outcome is all in my
> The question is, if working with clients, how do you show them designs
> for them to choose? We usually show them Photoshop comps. How does the
> design selection and approval occur?
> On Tue, 7 Dec 2004 17:30:05 -0500, Thomas Vander Wal
> [EMAIL-REMOVED]> wrote:
> > I stopped using photoshop and illustrator early in the process and I
> > saved a lot of headaches.
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