Style Tiles: Presenting Responsive Web Design to Clients

Working with clients on a new website or re-design can seem like a daunting task. Though, when you begin with a proper strategy and creative process it can all go much more smoothly. And now that designing for multiple screen sizes has become part of the initial conversation we have yet another challenge for presenting client deliverables. Agencies must now consider that the mockup will change, or that the wireframe and content will change dependent on the user screen size. It was once appropriate to present a static design mockup of a website, but now we need to focus on the fluidity of the web and start employing new types of presentation.

Where moodboards are too vague, and a full website mockup is too detailed, there is a possible in-between appropriately named Style Tiles. The concept, introduced by Samantha Warren, has been part of the responsive design discussion for more than a year now. As we design more websites we realize the need for something that can present the look and feel without interfering with a well thought out wireframe or any individual piece of content. This is where Style Tiles comes in handy.

Style Tiles Example
Style Tile example from The Washington Examiner 2012 Campaign Site
Design by Phase2 Technology

We can present the client with brand elements separate from our wireframe. With individual tiles we can have a better conversation with the client and start to solidify a visual language for the project. The tiles open up communication where complete website mocks may have caged both the agency and client ideas. This method may not work for every project but it offers a new way of listening to the client and guiding them through a well thought out strategy.

Samantha best summarizes the method in that “Style Tiles don’t imply dimensions nor device; only that the design will be digital.” Agencies can look forward to a fresh approach that allows breathing room on both sides of the project. The responsive web is here and we need to embrace its challenges.

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