Notes from the Future Desk: April


Jerrod Long

on 5/2/2016

This month the Future Desk is brought to you by VIA’s design team. Design goes beyond mockups and graphics – our designers are constantly working with clients to make their vision and ours a reality. With a focus on prototyping, documentation, and setting expectations we’re delving into the nuts and bolts of client relations.


Week 1: Prototypes help the client envision

Invision is a great tool to produce prototypes and interactive brand guides, we’ve had success with it recently in utilizing the clickable wireframe feature. Walking the client through a concept using this feature allows you to show them interaction that is a step beyond static mockups, but without hours spent on development.

Week 2: Setting Expectations

Presentation and setting up a client’s expectations are things they don’t really teach you in school, but are probably the most important part of the design process. You can have an award-winning idea, but if you can’t sell it, the world will never see it. This week we set up a presentation to the client by telling them the range of emotions they might feel during the workshop: confusion, excitement to contribute, frustration with team members, etc. Once they knew what to expect out of our journey, they were able to more comfortably position their input. Which led to a fantastic outcome.

Week 3: Documentation is vital

At VIA, we use a few tools to help everyone stay on the same page creatively. The most important of these are Brand Guidelines, Creative Brief, and for digital projects, UX Brief. All three of these documents add a bit of time to the front end of a project, but save immense amounts of time when you’re deep in it. However, these documents have to have meaning or they are useless. Make them meaningful and refer to them often.

Week 4: Prototypes part deux

Piggy-backing on Kelly’s theme of prototyping, this month I did a little digging to try and discover an ideal tool for prototyping … Which yielded mixed results. Invision is great for showing user-flow and is, for the most part, turn key, but it can be time-wasting to export raw design files, sync them to the site and place all of your hotspots. This led me to investigate different plug-in options for Sketch. So far, Silver seems like a real winner. It’s fairly new, but allows the user to create interactive flows with actual iOS nav stack transitions directly from existing artboards. Being able to stay in Sketch and work with existing content, rather than switching back and forth to third party options, exporting and importing a bunch of files is a huge advantage. This is a tool I plan on exploring much further in the near future.


Your place for all the happenings in and around Jerrod Long that made it to print.

I got in a verbal fight that nearly turned into a physical altercation one time with an SEO guy that said that visitor counts improve SER. It was in May of ’10. I’ll never forget it.

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