I have been quite busy lately with website design work. That is such a wonderful thing!
Last month, we completed and launched the website of The Master’s Fellowship of Raleigh. This website displays responsive design, as all sites we design now will do. The site includes a donation system (since they’re non-profit) as well as an events system that is extremely flexible. The client can enter an event, set up event registration, and if the event is a paid event, the client can set it up where they can pay on line, too.
We will have the same events system for Sifa Children Family. Also, this client is kind of testing ground for a shift from creating concepts in photoshop to a design-in-the-browser approach.
The previous approach we had been using was this: create mock-ups/concepts in Photoshop, and let the client pick the best. This worked well, but there were a few issues:
- The client could not see exactly how things would work
- Often times, it might work in photoshop, but in reality, the design didn’t work as intended once coded
With the design in the browser approach:
- The client sees exactly how the site works, including what happens when something is clicked, hovered over, etc. The client gets a much better feel about their website. It is, essentially, a live demo.
- Design issues going from layout to browser are worked out in the design process immediately.
- It’s much easier to do responsive designs like this.
This has one drawback for us, of course. The client, if he has the knowledge, could steal the code. Sure, that’s understood. But the client has already made a down payment to begin work on this code. The code the client will see is still pretty much a static design mostly. Since we already have the down payment, if a client decided to take what code had been written, no problem. As far as we’re concerned, they’ve paid for that much with the down payment. There is still some development that has to be done from there. They’re still going to have to get this into a WordPress theme or some other usable format. Also, our concepts often times don’t have every little detail completed. Some details have to be worked out once in the WordPress theme. So this drawback isn’t even a very big deal to us.
I’ve tested out the results on my own websites, and really Patrick Seraphin‘s site was also design-in-the-browser. Graphics still need to be done in photoshop and illustrator, of course. But we feel the design in the browser approach will benefit both us and the client from here forward.
Oh, there’s one last thing. We will be re-designing this site for the new year. For now, we’re going to be converting it to WordPress, but we may eventually use the base for our custom CMS systems we will be working on.