The importance of designer / developer workflows.

Australian journalist Brad Howarth recently interviewed me regarding my opinions on what Adobe is doing with Flash and has included my comments in an unbiased article recently published in February 20th B&T magazine.

Apart from choosing the technology that can get your message to as many people as possible, one key takeaway from the article is the importance of understanding the workflow between your developer and designers. This is especially important now that the demand for a great user experience is important.

Having creative people burn cycles slicing and dicing their artwork for developers is time consuming and costly. Developers cannot afford to ignore the user experience as there audience expect higher engagement and “that will do” is no longer an option. In fact, many projects are now start with a “front to back” approach (designing the user experience first then wiring it up behind) rather than the traditional “back to front” method which leaves the user interface as a final consideration.

Adobe has put an amazing amount of effort into the latest release of Creative Suite, CS4, that specifically targets these designer / developer workflows. New functionality such as being able to move from Photoshop to Fireworks to CSS compliant HTML in Dreamweaver are easier than ever before. Improvements such as Subversion support in Dreamweaver makes it even easier to sit alongside a dev project.

If you add to this that Flash is no longer constrained to a web browser and can be included in a desktop application (Adobe AIR) or inside a PDF (Acrobat 9) then all of a sudden your creative efforts have been leveraged across many different mediums.

While you can implement the new workflow improvements today, what many of you are waiting on anxiously is Flash Catalyst (previously codenamed Thermo). Catalyst will tighten the designer / developer workflow even more allowing true round tripping between tools.

While I intend to write a whole lot more about this, you can see a snippet of information held in the slides and samples from the recent Refresh event.

You can also read Brad’s full article by downloading the RTF files in Brad’s latest blog post. or purchasing the print edition as I did.

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