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Death to the waterfall tell me if youve heard this

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Death to the waterfallTell me if you’ve heard this one before. A team is tasked withmaking a website. Once the kick-off meeting dust has settled, a UX
CHAPTER 4 / THE ATOMIC WORKFLOW115designer goes away, puts their head down, and eventually emergeswith a giant PDF document detailing the entire experience. Thismonolithic wireframe document gets passed around to the projectstakeholders, who sign it off after some feedback and suggestions.The UX designer then passes the wireframes to the visual designer,who hops into Photoshop or Sketch to apply color, typography,and texture to the structured-but-sterile wireframes. In the designreview meeting, stakeholders sit eagerly while the projector fires upand the project manager runs off to print copies of the design deckfor everyone. The art director takes their position at the front of theroom and unveils the design. Behold, a website design! Once thepresentation is finished, the room quickly buzzes with feedback andconversation. After the initial reactions and compliments die down,a key stakeholder speaks up.“This looks fantastic, and I think really hits the mark for what we’retrying to accomplish with this project.But…They express their desire to see something perhaps with analternate layout, something that captures a certain vibe, maybesomething that uses different photography, something that just…pops.With the floodgates opened, the other stakeholders suddenlyrealize they too have opinions and constructive criticism they’dlike to share. By the time the meeting draws to a close, everyonehas rambled off their wish list of what they’d like the design toaccomplish.Slightly deflated but determined to nail it, the visual designerretreats back to their tools to work in the stakeholders’ suggestions.At the next design review meeting, the same scene repeats itself,with stakeholders expressing equal parts encouragement andlonging for more. “I feel like we’re almost there. Could we just…”Weeks pass and seasons change. Nerves wear thin, and the deadlinedate looms over everyone’s heads. It’s with a sense of urgency thathomepage_v9_final_for-review_FINAL_bradEdits_for-handoff.psdfinally gets approval by the stakeholders.The visual designer, relieved they’ve finally completed their job,tiptoes oh-so-quietly up to the entrance of the Code Cave. They slipthe approved design under the door, and as they scamper away they
116ATOMIC DESIGNyell, “Can you get this done in three weeks? We’re already behindschedule and we’re out of budget!”The visual designer has already disappeared into the night by thetime the front-end developer picks the design off the floor. With oneglance at the composition, a strange feeling – some combination ofbewilderment, rage, and dread – washes over them. What’s wrongwith the design, exactly? Maybe it’s the seven typefaces and nineunique button styles peppered throughout the comps. Maybe it’s thedesktop-centric, impossible-to-actually-execute layout. Maybe it’s

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Term
Summer
Professor
isita ghosh
Tags
Web Design, Style guide, Communication Design, Atomic Design

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