122: With Katie Kovalcin

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This week we were joined by Katie Kovalcin. Katie is a designer at Happy Cog in Austin and teaches at Girl Develop It.

We talked about (roughly in order):

News’n’Links’n’Drama:

12:55 Protesters outside Google.io, and Google Cardboard

Q & A:

  • 19:56 What is your feeling on website creators like Wix and Squarespace? Is this taking away from potential business for web designer/developers?
  • 27:32 Recently I was asked to create page design for a client. Just the visual design, no code. I thought this would be easy, but after spending an hour and a half creating a table in Illustrator, I’m yearning for some basic HTML & CSS. Are there any design tools you guys know of that take into account of things like “separation of style and content” or “modular components”?
  • 34:10 I’m a newb. I love designing using HTML and CSS, but my creativity is stunted because I can’t program. Which language should I learn first?
  • 38:43 Responsive web design has done a lot of great things for the web, but sometimes the sharing of a single codebase for all the different breakpoints makes things tricky. I’ll usually ask my designers to avoid situations that would require building a component in two different ways across screen sizes. The navigation in the header is usually one of the areas for this discussion (where a design basically requires toggling visibility between two different menu systems). Am I being too much of a stickler or should I stand my ground?
  • 47:03 For smaller websites I often find it difficult to collect quality content from the business that I am designing a website for. These website budgets are usually small therefore a content writer may not be practical. Can you explain your process on collecting data or steering customers in the right direction when it comes to providing quality content?
  • 52:35 I’ve got this really bad habit of nudging things in my design. Two pixels up, an em here, an em there. And then repeat into insanity. I’m always struggling to get that whitespace just right. How do you approach whitespace?

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Jeff Low wins a ticket to this years CSS Summit! Thanks for sending in nerdy questions, everyone!

  • Python definitely isn’t a “Web” language. It’s a programming language that has a web framework available: Django.

  • Andy Barr

    was that a Zelda sound clip?

  • Webflow is an interresting option in-between Photoshop/Illustrator and CSS. They promise “Production ready websites” but I wouldn’t rely on that.

    However, their design tool is pretty solid, and especially the fact that you’re designing in a responsive environment brings something that has been missing from web design tools for too long.

    https://webflow.com