What are the tools for your design trade?

As designer of what, you ask? Aircraft, car, living space, software, sound, garden or games?

pencils and paper

As designers of any of those and many more, we all share two tools – pencil and paper. Ideas may end up for execution in a design software, as AutoCAD or Maya or Photoshop or Sketch, but all starts on paper. Right? Well not for everyone. See, during my time in the industry I witnessed all sort of activities around software design. Many practitioners jump straight into the software tools, producing thousands of mocks, wasting a lot of precious time and resources.

For example, how much it costs to have a software designer or a student equipped with latest Mac, big screen monitor, licence for their favorite drawing software, motion software etc.. Can be around £6-7K. And you have to pay then salary of course and they will draw and draw for days to give you a solutions for your problems. Oh, wait for that usability study when you have to walk-through static images trying to explore interaction design. And wait, there is more – you have to do it 3 times, for mobile, tablet and desktop!

Consider this. How much it costs to give a designer or student pencil and paper and a Chromebook (or just use Chrome browser on already owned computer). Can you really design software with those, you ask? Sure you can, faster, better and more efficiently. It would cost £210 and you can give the rest of the money as bonus to your awesome designer or pay student fees.

So how can I do this, you ask? Simply, sketch your ideas, you are Designer, surely you know how to draw, share those ideas with the team, get feedback and then simply prototype the product with HTML, CSS and JavaScript with some free online editors and proceed with studies and iterations. Share your prototype on local server or shared server and everyone can give you feedback. Use responsive layout and you get covered on all screen sizes, no extra time wasted.

And how you draw all those icons etc. Well, use SVG with online free editors, and you’ll have sharp and crispy icons no matter what crazy new device with large screen density will be invented in the future.

So here is the summary:

You can save lots of money. Life is good kids.