Skip to main content Accessibility Feedback

Conversations, not comps

Daniel Mall shares some insightful thoughts on the post-Photoshop era

I’m building an office right now. The contractor I’ve hired is a wonderful builder, but not really a designer. He can make whatever I ask him to make, but I have to ask him to make it. He also primarily speaks Spanish and only a little English. (A great metaphor for the designer-developer relationship, no?)

I could create an illustration or a 3D rendering of what I want my new office to look like, but that doesn’t take advantage of his great ideas. It’s dictation, not collaboration. Instead, I show him a Pinterest board my wife and I created. I tell him that I love these beams or this mix of materials and we can have a conversation. I revise my ideas through his expertise, and vice versa. This is how building a website should go. When creating the Activate site, I only designed 2 comps; Ben Bojko, the excellent developer I was working with, built the rest. A ton of conversation is way more effective than a handful of page designs. Of course, this is built on the assumption of a level of skill among all parties involved and a great amount of trust between them. If you don’t have that, stop reading this post and do some research on building great teams.

Conversations, not comps. I like that a lot!

This is where tools like Style Tiles really shine.


🚀 I just relaunched my Vanilla JS Pocket Guides with new code examples and real projects to help tie everything you’ll learn together. Check it out.

Have any questions or comments about this post? Email me at chris@gomakethings.com or contact me on Twitter at @ChrisFerdinandi.

Get Daily Developer Tips