The Next Buzzword in Design
Ah yes the holy grail for all the website designers and marketers. You all are probably wondering just what is that secret encoded buzzword that I will be revealing too all of you within these paragraphs as to what is the new design buzzword so that you can note it down and find out as much about it. I guess I can appreciate what it feels like to set up some trends in the digital world or maybe I am getting ahead of myself. Take notes though designers, this is how quick and fickle the digital art world can be at times.
I suppose art and design can also be described as engineering by structural romantics like myself because it is the height of optimism or standard if you say that design lacks any method or set structure to it. I guess that is primarily where the term engineering melds itself into the PSD or illustrating paradigm. Is that really relevant in the implementation perspective? And the answer depends upon the perspective you take. If you believe that the thought process of certain methods do absolutely nothing to change your perspective then it is absolutely alright that you carry on doing what you have been doing before.
But this buzzword will be here to stay further because of one thing and one thing only. Templates had started playing an integral role in the building of our design layouts in websites, app GUIs or any kind of interactive layout. And these templates all have a starting point to their design right? And these templates provide a starting point to an end output. The engineering in this respect deals with the thought process at each step of developing the image or the design. The nuances of the audience, the deliberation behind elements and the semantics behind each color input. Sure it makes it seem like Im delving into something systematically sensitive and many would argue that at its crux that is precisely what design is.
This brings us to the other part of PSD Engineering; the PSD itself and this is where I think the most interesting bit of opinions clash. Many abhor the notion that building a proper PSD layout for HTML or any website design requires any kind of set methodology and prefer the unstructured form of working. The structured favour a certain method adding the concept, the environment, the elements and then the colour for each to decide on the aesthetic and the final look.
Why is it a buzzword then? These methods and structures must have been very well in place before too. The buzzword is there because it captures a sense about these methods which was previously unknown but more than that it seeks to bring these methods together adding a sense of standardization to the design world itself. That is the key thing because the design world has more o less always existed without too many standards at least digitally.
So let me bring this to speed again. What are you main focus points when you “engineer” a PSD. You are looking at two kinds of eyes who will judge what you craft. One might be the developer who works on that image, the other will be the viewer or visitor who comes into the site. The developer will convert your static image into a lively one right but again this is like a dynamo charging a device. The device can be charged for all you want but if it does a dumb task then it’s not a very good device. The trick with engineering a PSD however is that the designer and developer both can be the dynamo and the device in this scenario which is precisely what makes this entire construction so fascinating. In times the artist will craft something which will be integral to the final product, the developer will merely “power” or enable it. And this can be reversed too.
With the audience this is purely crowd appeal in place. But again the user or visitor will interact with your art in many ways. In the digital world we call that either via apps or websites though it does not have to be restricted to these. So if your art is engineered to gather appeal then commercially you have crafted the recipe for success.
Yes the usage of engineering and crafting is intentional because designers should understand the methodical side of design too. And no advocating this side in no means should signal a downward spiral for creativity. You can easily advocate both sides and still produce very high quality art in your design. The experts might look at this skeptically but really the idea is to get more people to stand behind making things easier for the buyers of design which are businesses. And this is one scheme which aims to make both sides happy and it’s safe to say that that is a good thing.