Has the static design comp had its day?

The time was when almost all designers would present their designs to clients as an image file. However, web design has change and the role of static comps is being challenged.

Do you still present Photoshop (or equivalent) mockups to your clients? If so you appear to be a dying breed.

Many web designers argue that comps fail to communicate a website properly to a client, instead presenting it like a piece of print work. A design comp doesn’t show interaction, browser difference or responsiveness. Instead it is an idealistic view of the site that isn’t representative of the users final experience.

The problem is that clients expect design comps. What is more they are quicker to produce than a working prototype designed in the browser. Finally, some worry that using the browser rather than a design tool like Photoshop will overly restrict creativity.

With all of this in mind it sounds like a perfect debate topic for us. Therefore…

This house proposes that static design comps are an irrelevance in a world of responsive and interactive design.

Do you agree? Have you stopped using design comps, if so why? If you do use them, what is your reason? Do you agree or disagree with the house? Let us know in the comments.

  • richarddale

    I definitely think mobile sites have their place. Many of the sites I built prior to RWD, static sites that view great on desktop and tablet. Its only when you get down to smart phone size that things start to break down. For many of these sites a mobile specific site would probably work better than a RWD site where I could be more focused and target the medium specifically.

    I did a RWD e-commerce website recently and although the end results were good, trying to get the shopping basket working and looking correct whilst being responsive was a nightmare and I couldn’t help but think that a mobile specific site would have been a better solution. When I browse the web using my iPad Air I never visit a fix width website and think this is a poor user experience why don’t they have a RWD site. I ony ever think this when on my iPhone.

  • sanedevil

    I am not a web designer, but have a team that is building one for me. So in trad way, I have to have a “web designer” design the site in Photoshop which is then handed to “web developer” to generate code.

    You can imagine there are several problems w this – time, costs, rework, code doesn’t do what the design shows etc.

    I hit upon your blog while thinking if there are tools that would eliminate the design-to-code step

    I very much agree w the house and would love to know the process and tools to help achieve this.

  • David R

    The simple answer is yes, a website must be responsive and also Google is focusing more on responsive websites, a static design
    web development firm still works OK in most cases when you have separate mobile friendly website.