I don't dig these absolutist and dogmatic diatribes about "my way is the right way and that's that." The right way is to build something well. If passing off a PSD to your dev team means a lot of things slip through the cracks, then that's not the right way for you. It's extremely important for designers to have a working knowledge of code so they understand the limitations and opportunities of the medium they are designing for, but this expectation that all designers must design in the browser is absurd. That's right in some cases, not in all, especially depending on the complexity of the application you're designing for. If I'm just trying to get a feel for how something looks, why should I waste time fiddling with code for positioning, when I can point and drag it in another tool and find a better output later?
I think more important than innately rejecting PSDs, is finding the process that works for your team. If you have a lot of interactivity that needs communicated, traditional design tools fail here.
I'm all for designers being more conscious of responsive designs, but articles like this ignore how great a tool Photoshop is for specing work. Instead of just handing off PSDs, I would encourage people to check out Edge Reflow, which can create HTML documents from PSDs: http://html.adobe.com/edge/reflow/photoshop-plug-in.html
You can then edit your document in a WYSWYG editor, and apply break points for different screen sizes.
The issue isn't with PSD, Photoshop or Reflow. The whole issue is that we hand off our work and "spec" our designs. The whole issue is that design comes first and development follows.
We need to realise that we're building products. Not code, not design, we're working on products that need to be used. Solve problems. Make lives better.
Tools can empower or destroy, always. The challenge is how we communicate to clients, manage expectations and work together as a whole. Let's ship stuff, together.
Designing without a developer involved is as bad as developing without a designer involved.
Let's ship stuff, together.
Agreed, and very well spoken.
I'm hoping for a future where development and design tools can converge and facilitate this better communication.
Yes, exactly: where development and design tools converge. There is the sweet spot. But I feel like current tools like reflow and macaw only converge on the terms of the designer.
I have done front-end development for quite a while, along with visual design. The biggest asset to my design toolbox was learning how to set up a good and modular front-end. If my designs are clean and consistent, I have to write less code. If I find myself writing too much code, I often refactor designs on the spot to make them simpler. And that works very well.
I haven't found this behaviour when just using design tools. It could be a good idea for one of your products; tell people when they are using unneeded complexity.
I tell people this all the time but he did a great job of putting some of the finer points into words.
Just realised this article is super old, but worth a read anyway.
Oct 25, 2013 isn't that old. As you were.
Ironically enough, it was these exact problems that lead me to switch from being primarily a designer to a front-end developer. Devs not being able to recreate designs well and my own lack of understanding the restrictions of application development ended up with me realizing I enjoyed coding designs more than making them in creative suite.
I think there's less of a recipe for workflow efficiency in this article and more a good, general idea: Collaborate and don't let either side of the fence remain unconnected from the other's process. A good artist knows the intricacies and quirks of their medium and a good engineer is never absent from the design process of what they're building.
If you roll your eyes at client signoff and think a PSD is an "artists impression of what the site should look like", you sound like a complete asshole, and I wouldn't want to work with you.