The Design Process

Only a Representation

There are many things the automotive industry has right when it comes to design, particularly their start to finish process of automotive building.

It’s amazing to view the industries concept sketches and how they progress into three-dimensional icons which for Americans, like myself, can represent personal expression and freedom.

As a spectator of this design process, it’s quite clear to the engineers and potential consumers that each step is merely a representation. There are no expectations that the concept sketches have to appear as the showroom car. Furthermore to expect a two-dimensional representation of a car to operate like a three-dimensional automobile is ludicrous. While this concept of thinking is solidified in the automotive industry it doesn’t appear to be exactly understood in the web design field.

There seems to be a notion in the web design industry that each step is lockdown and is unchanging throughout its process. This can be particularly true for large design teams that have specialized groups. Wireframes are locked down with areas that can not be altered. Visual comps are designed around “lorem ipsum” instead of real content and style sheets are created for comps that have yet to be developed. All the while, the client approves each step and is not informed or expecting significant alterations. None of these steps by themselves are a website. Therefore each step is subject to change and radically changed based on providing the BEST solution for a functional interactive website.

It is important that both design teams and clients understand this aspect of building websites. This is not print design.