We kicked off our Web Smart Newsletters back in March 2001 with a newsletter called "Web Design Tips for the Print Designer." Things change fast on the web and an update on web design tips is certainly overdue. This month's newsletter will address some general web design tips, provide details on how to optimize your Photoshop files, and tips for avoiding browser pitfalls. Even though the original newsletter is old, the information is still useful.
The mission of Newfangled's agency partnerships is to enable agency and design partners to comfortably, confidently, and profitably provide web development services to their clients. One of the ways we do this is by always striving to improve our development process. The more refined and efficient our process becomes, the easier it is for our agency and design partners to work with it and communicate it to their clients. In the past two and a half years we have made great advances in simplifying and streamlining our process through grayscreen prototyping and the NewfangledCMS. However, one area of development that has been difficult to streamline is the "skinning" or design application phase.
In our last newsletter we reviewed the grayscreen/whitescreen development process. You may recall that after the "whitescreening" and visual design phases are completed, we enter into the "skinning" phase. "Skinning" is the process of applying the approved visual design to the generic "whitescreen" templates. The skinning phase usually progresses while the client is still entering content. This makes for an interesting experience as the site transforms from the white-screen into its final state. This is currently the most open-ended aspect, in terms of time and cost, of our development process. It is also the trickiest aspect to estimate since the complexity of the approved visual design (which isn't completed until the middle of the process) can impact the skinning phase.
This month's newsletter will help define design elements that impact the skinning process. We will then provide some tips that will help you to design sites. Finally, we will provide some guidelines for how we prefer to receive design layouts from you. By following these guidelines we can continue to streamline the development process.