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Workflow on Responsive Web Design Projects

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Ben Callahan

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Teams, timelines, and deliverables are an ever-changing challenge for teams trying to do responsive design. Hear how to manage expectations and create stronger products, faster.


Structuring teams to be more flexible

  • Which bad habits work against teams who are trying to do responsive design
  • How to plan for flexibility in your workflow, no matter which design process you follow
  • Techniques for better communicating about disciplines, critiques, and code

Planning responsive projects, from soup-to-nuts

  • The role of comps, deliverables, and browser-based wireframes
  • When and how to prioritize, and where it fits in the process (hint: it’s constant!)
  • Ways to plan interfaces so the end-result works at any viewport width


Designing interfaces using faster methods

  • Tools for testing aesthetics while minimizing risk—from style tiles to comparisons
  • Ways to solve problems with sketches, static design tools, prototypes, and design pairing
  • Why it’s crucial to refine designs at the last responsible moment and in their final medium

Managing expectations and doing testing

  • How to sell a responsive design and flexible process, especially if it costs more money
  • Effective testing techniques to verify your product works in different contexts
  • Maximize time, budgets, and camaraderie by showing things in their current state

Ready to evolve beyond Waterfall?

Push "the whole" instead of "the parts"

Start the conversation about your content at the same time you’re planning your CMS. Make progress on the back-end at the same time as design and UX.

Use more than one tool

Being truly responsive—both in design and workflow—means using the right tool for each job. Get a laundry list of tools and techniques for designing, solving problems, and testing.

Learn to let go of control

Without polishing design deliverables first, how do you plan for contingencies later—especially across devices? Find out by building a culture of trust and empowerment.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Build small “surgical” teams to maximize collaboration
  • Delay decisions until the last responsible moment
  • Overcome “baggage” that hampers a responsive process
  • Facilitate a collaborative design process that’s still adaptable
  • Convince others that responsive web design is a competitive advantage
  • Identify when trust waivers, then address it with transparency

4 Practical Takeaways from Ben’s Workshop

A flexible process that expands when needed

Make your team’s workflow as responsive as the products you’re building.

Tools for testing aesthetics separate from technology

Create and talk about stylistic design elements in hours/days rather than weeks/months.

Clickable wireframes, faster

Use responsive design tools to make prototypes in the browser.

Collaborative, positive, progressive team communication

Make rapid iteration a consistent component of your design and communication processes.

This workshop includes an exercise on managing expectations.

Ben will talk through loads of real-world stories and case studies from his own experiences in running projects. You’ll then break into small groups to defend your process—with Ben’s help—and review how to overcome common workflow challenges.

Ben Callahan, RWD Workflowentarian

@bencallahan on Twitter

When Ben Callahan speaks, everyone listens. And not because his voice sounds like James Earl Jones’ (because it doesn’t. It’s much more Ohio friendly than Darth Vader.)

It’s because what he says about working on responsive designs is practical, having been forged through years of designing amid layers of management and multiple stakeholders.

And fortunately for us (and everyone who’s had the pleasure to hear him), Ben has been a leading voice in making flexibility the core of responsive design workflows.

When he’s not enlightening design teams around the world, Ben is immersed in his role as president of Sparkbox, a 20-person company that builds responsive websites while practicing a collaborative, flexible workflow. He’s also the creator of the Build Responsively workshop series, and he’s written for .net Magazine and Smashing Magazine.

So if you’re looking for a fresh perspective that’ll leave you excited to get back to work, then don’t miss this workshop.