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Separate PSDs for Responsive?

I'm just a front end designer with no coding skills. I can create a pixel perfect 960 or 1000 wide PSD to hand off to a developer. But, should I also begin providing mockups for tablet in portrait and smartphone in portrait? What do you think?

3 Answers

Please note, I am not a professional, this is only my opinion, I am still learning these things and I could be very wrong. :)

These days, I believe it is very important to have a mobile friendly version of any site, and creating detailed, and pixel-perfect mockups in Photoshop is labor intensive. If the site is going to have 3 break points for example: Full size, Tablet, and Smartphone, each one may look very different, and require a whole lot of work to create detailed and precise mockups for each.

What seems like a good idea to me, is to create a style tile and then give the coder a wireframe of how each one should roughly look.


(credit: this article, you might want to give it a read, it has some nice points.)

@Josh โ€ข Very pragmatic view and a couple of really helpful links. Have you worked with http://styletil.es? thx

Michael Lyons
Michael Lyons
11,031 Points

I would say it depends on the situation's variables. How does the layout adapt to changing orientations? Do menus or backgrounds switch? Does content move around to fit into the new screen? If so, or similar, it wouldn't hurt to do so.

Thanks, Michael . I do plan on having nav changes and content adjusting, so I'm thinking as well, that I should do the 3 PSD layouts. I have the time and I only need to do a few sites. And since my developer will be working freelance, I really need to hand them over something spot on.

Neil Macleod
Neil Macleod
Courses Plus Student 3,165 Points

We tend to make all 3 views per page. It does mean extra design time spent on a project but you should see a pay off when the site is built and each page has less creative bugs.

Also means the developer has something exact to work to, rather than having to make design decisions during build when it might not be there strong point. Which ultimately should result in a better website.

Thanks, Neil. I agree. It will add a few days to my Photoshop work and it will probably run up development costs a bit, but I think the result will be worth it. Really helpful to see all three comments reflect the same approach. It's not perfect and it's a bit time consuming. But, when your forte is online marketing with decent Photoshop design skills, and you have no plans to ever take time to be a developer, the 3 PSD approach is harsh reality. But, we're not diggin' ditches :)