Our Media Director’s Process | Step 1: Explore the Mockup

As the Marstudio team continues to grow, we have decided to start a mini series on our blog called “Process” to shed light on the individuals that are in our studio every day, working hard and driving Marstudio onward . Each designer, developer, organizer, and executive team member at Marstudio has their own unique process and we thought it would be fun to share!

First up is our Media Director, Annie K., who is a self-taught developer with a background in graphic design. Annie’s unique insight into both realms makes her the perfect bridge between graphic design and web development. She spins words into websites, composing the hidden poetry that brings Marstudio’s designs to clickable life. She is very, very detail-oriented, down to a single pixel, and is a problem solver. Development creates several puzzles throughout the day, and Annie’s pleasure after solving each one is proof enough of her appropriate career choice.

She is logical, especially during problem solving, and prefers to work in the most efficient way possible. She likes lists and order, and has a list for every major step in the development process even though most everything is committed to memory (involuntarily, of course). Not surprisingly, she prefers to make these lists in a plain text editor instead of Microsoft Word, so that she can manually control their formatting.

The very first step in Annie’s process involves exploring the website design mockup, provided by our Creative Director. The mockup is sent as a Photoshop file, so almost immediately Annie’s graphic design knowledge comes in handy. The mockup usually includes the homepage, a sample subpage (with styling that she can apply to all other subpages), a contact form, and sometimes alternate page templates or additional graphics such as rollovers. Craving order, Annie will organize the file’s layers into folders, order the folders appropriately, and delete hidden layers. This makes it easier to find things quickly and decreases file size… which means the file opens faster!

Decreasing the file size may shave off 30 or 40 seconds, but for Annie every second counts. Efficiency is key, and if something isn’t fast enough for her taste she will figure out how to make the same process faster, or develop a different process to accomplish the same thing in half the time. Once the mockup is organized, it is time to ponder. Annie mulls over the mockup for a while, planning and thinking about the best way to approach certain aspects of the website, sometimes even testing a little code. This step can take up to an hour, but helps Annie dive right in when it comes time to start developing.

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