Agnostic Interfaces

How much thought do we put into our workflow? Normally, not much. That is, unless we get caught on our workflow's rough edges. A typical design workflow is a bottleneck of hard stops and assembly lines hand offs that make it difficult for teams of content strategists, designers, and developers to collaborate fluidly. We get trapped in static mockups and broken communication channels that take the focus from why we’re doing things to just 'getting them done.’

My partner in crime, Travis, and I wanted to make a hulk of a change and put our methodology where our mouth was. Instead of starts and stops between phases, we redesigned the way we think about content and design. Agnostic Interfaces is a way to share our ideas about a new design workflow with a systematic approach. We start with Live Wires, a prototyping tool that lets us build wireframes, style guides and high fidelity prototyping fluidly in the browser from start to finish. And we build with a sharp focus on content to shape the elements, components, modules and templates around it. When we think in systems and guide our work with a focus on the content, AKA its reason for living, we dissolve the barriers that keep us deaf and blind to reimagining design.

  • Information architecture
  • Voice and tone guide
  • Site content
  • Press release
  • Ad content
Louder Than Ten
Visit project.

Explaining the magic

  • Give them the why before the how or what
  • Fall in love with the story you want to tell
  • Say it loud to see if it rings true

A global framework

Ultimately, Trav and I believe this: if we want to make information meaningful to truly empower our fellow Homo sapiens, we have to move outside of our own incestuous industry. Within the web world, we’re all shouting echoes. Mobile first! Responsive design workflow! Fluid grids! Clean user interfaces! The rhetoric flounders around like a lonely fish in a barrel. But we need to perk up other ears. Who needs to listen? The answer is anyone outside our industry. Those industries that still think a website is an afterthought, that user experience is something you earn playing video games. I’m talking about the industries that are still fractured because of secretive information pipelines, bureaucratic mould, and inaccessible language.

We want slack-jawed politicians to pay attention when we construct a new kind of democracy. We want teachers to become information facilitators and healthcare professionals to perk up when they imagine a virtual care system or a cure for cancer created in a digital environment. We want Neil DeGrasse Tyson to rejoice because we’ve rekindled our love of space travel and married our cosmos.

Demanding a new approach to these things is our industry’s accidental job. But it’s a damn important one. It’s up to us to circumvent the current systems or at the very least, get a whole lot of people excited to try. Somehow, we have to help other people fall in love with design and problem solving as much as we have so they can start creating their own frameworks to make sense of all that raw data. We need to find the birthdays we share — the common ground that will help us create a unified framework for understanding the relevant human data that is pivotal to our own survival.

The amount of work ahead of us is seriously scary, but we have to try—even if we are just a couple of punk-ass kids (or middle-aged ones who still listen to punk music on the weekends). We’d love it if you hopped aboard this bullet train with us, because it’s a loveable beast and it just left the station.