Trialing Style Tiles
As created and promoted by Samantha Warren, Style Tiles are "a design deliverable that references website interface elements through font, color, and style collections derived alongside a site map, wireframes, and other user experience artifacts."
I first learned about Style Tiles in the days following Build Conference last year. Derek Johnson, who works alongside me at Website NI, spoke of the value of this new technique, he learned courtesy of Jeremy Keiths informative workshop, when starting a new project.
"Style tiles expedite project timelines, involve stakeholders in the brainstorming process, and are an essential artifact in the responsive design process."
Over the space of a few months trialing this new addition to our design process, weve found varying levels of value. Some clients found it interesting, it helped educate them as well as encouraging them to thoughtfully contribute to design decisions.
As always, on the other hand some clients didn't understand why we were doing this, despite prior explanation, and simply opted for a random choice because they were being "forced" into making a decision.
Consequently, as there was little thought behind the clients choice their benefit obviously waned.
Theres no doubting that Style Tiles provide an important step between research and visual design. However our future use of Style Tiles will be determined by that particular projects context.
Some clients will always be uninterested with any prior work to a visual design, so sharing this kind of work may be time wasted.
Of course Style Tiles can always be created and discussed solely in-house.
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