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Great article Meagan.
The main takeaway I get from this, and other 24ways articles this year, is that browser technology is turning a corner in 2010. CSS3, HTML5 and embedded fonts are becoming a reality we can start to use. These are things we all need to be trying out to keep ahead of the game, not moaning about it.
In response to Chris Arnold (since his is the last comment before mine while I write this!):
1) I wouldn’t show 2-3 design directions to a client. We tend to work through ideas and work up one idea to show the client initially. I find if you show multiple designs it takes ages (and therefore costs more) and the client may end up wanting a jigsaw of multiple designs (not a good situation).
2) Interior pages are easy to build if you have done the initial page (i.e. the base template). Copy, paste, change text. Far easier than Photoshop, IMHO (and yes, text is easier and quicker to design with in the browser than Photoshop).
3) I wouldn’t update a design literally on the fly in front of the client. Designing (or developing) with a client over your shoulder can be a rod for your own back, but I can see how clients would like it.
Getting this sort of process to work successfully requires a good workflow, designers with solid CSS skills and an open client. I admit, we’ve not tried this approach yet at my agency (so I may change my mind once we have!) but it’s something I’m interested in since as a businessman i can really see the potential time saving of this approach and as a coder I can see the sense of designing directly in the medium.
And I wouldn’t drop Photoshop from the workflow, since it’s still a fabulous tool for designing the graphic elements.
The end of the year is usually a time to look to the future, I applaud the authors this year for exploring these topics. Great, inspirational stuff.