I went to Drupalcon in Portland a few weeks ago and am still processing everything I learned.  I hope to have time to write a few longer posts in the coming weeks on some of the larger themes from the conference.  While I procrastinate I figured I’d highlight some of the more interesting tidbits from the sessions I attended.  Since I was on Twitter, these are going to take the from of tweets from myself and others.

(1) The Problem with Wireframes

I believe this was a quote from the Design Smarter, Not Harder session by Ken Woodworth.

This is obviously a bit of an overstatement, but in my experience around half of clients simply aren’t going to be able to provide you with good feedback on wireframes.  Wireframes are intended to separate the form from the function, and some folks can’t make that leap.  Wireframes are simply too conceptual in nature for some folks.

(2) Working Software Wins

I believe this is from the Designing on Purpose session featuring Jared Ponch.  There is a place for specifications and planning and process, but the best feedback will come when you have something tangible to play with. Processes that give users things they can touch and feel sooner are what is needed.

(3) The Role of the Designer

This is another one from Jared Ponch.  He compared designers to architects.  Architects ask clients what they are hoping to achieve, not what their technical approach to the project should be.  Web designers should follow the same process.

(4) The CMS Market

This tweet came from Deane Barker’s presentation on Why the CEO Matters More Than the Developer.  Simplifying greatly, his point was that content management is no longer a point of differentiation during the sales process.  Instead, firms must “sell” products and services that move their clients bottom line through increased sales or increased efficiency.

(5) Visual vs. UX Design

I don’t really remember which panel this quote came from, but it really struck me.  Web design is a big field and different jobs require different kinds of skills. The person who can create beautiful illustrations for an interactive piece may not be the one you want designing your forms.

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.