How do ROR developers work with designers?

Hi everyone-

I've developed a site with ROR, I thought I was ready to launch after
a few hours of design. Boy was I wrong. I finally hired a guy in
Pakistan to do the design. He came back with a beautiful design for
about $200. Now I'm spending hours and hours and hours integrating my
rails code with his design.

Can someone give me an idea of best practices for coders and designers
working together? There has got to be a better way.

Thanks,
Dino

Spend more than $200 on a designer than knows Rails?

Or even better, partner with a designer to design as you go. It's
usually a really bad idea to develop and application then try to slap
a skin on it to make it look good. It's rare that you can really give
enough time to usability or user experience if you do that.

--Jeremy

dino d. wrote:

I've developed a site with ROR, I thought I was ready to launch after
a few hours of design. Boy was I wrong. I finally hired a guy in
Pakistan to do the design. He came back with a beautiful design for
about $200. Now I'm spending hours and hours and hours integrating my
rails code with his design.

Can someone give me an idea of best practices for coders and designers
working together? There has got to be a better way.

Our designers are in the same room, and we hardly ever talk to them. They might as well be in Pakistan. (Most times!)

How are your unit tests?

When the designers give us new HTML, we run it thru this command line:

   tidy -i -asxhtml foo.html > app/views/my_controller/foo.rhtml

Then we beat the crap out of those pages with assert_xpath. Having well-formed and correctly-indented XHTML makes editing, refactoring, and TDD a breeze. I just pointed out to my pair, today, when we were looking at some old code that never saw tidy, that the tidied code had a tendency to _stay_ tidy over time, even if we sometimes had to nudge it a little to keep the indentation correct.

There's nothing like seeing a <div> up at the top, and knowing that its matching </div> is _exactly_ the one at the same indentation level, down at the bottom.

We have a few integration issues - rambunctious CSS is a major problem - but we generally have no show stoppers.

Jeremy McAnally wrote:

Spend more than $200 on a designer than knows Rails?

Or even better, partner with a designer to design as you go. It's
usually a really bad idea to develop and application then try to slap
a skin on it to make it look good. It's rare that you can really give
enough time to usability or user experience if you do that.

I forgot to mention: Our designers don't just throw skins over the wall. They will take our site, scrape off the HTML and CSS, re-brand it, change all the colors and graphics around, and throw _this_ over the wall. Then we configure our site to pull assets from named folders in the public/ folder. This gives us multiple product lines over the same core code.

We . They don't generally know Rails. Yes, the short communication path helps - our Onsite Customer shares an office with the head of Graphics - but the testing and tidy help a lot more. We launched a new site today, in only one working day, with one designer and two engineers on it.

What about finding a well designed .css stylesheet with broad
possibilities and then using it as we write the code?
In my current project I took a combination of Beast and El Dorado and
it seems to work ok.
Is there a wonderful .css stylesheet out there for Rails that I could
use consistantly? My applications are always have a 'business' look.
Thank you,
Kathleen

I suppose it depends on how you use CSS.

Different businesses pay for applications that solve problems in
different problem spaces. These different problem spaces demand
different domain models.

If your stylesheet is tied to your domain model, a one-size-fits all is
a non-starter.

My stylesheets tend to use selectors like

    // An application for managing a mail server
    .domain .alias .forwards-to

    // A management application for an Internet hosting provider
    #host_problems_query_form .hosts

    // A document exchange portal
    #area_members .member .email
    #area_members .membership-request .email

Ciao,
Sheldon.

Reinhart,

How does your designer charges?

Cheers, Sazima

Kathleen,

I use the same approach for my personal projects, but sometimes the
customer wants his own particular design on top of preexisting code.
Then you have the sort of problems described above...

Cheers, Sazima

How much...

I think i can help you off the line.<<web.bloggers@gmail.com>>

If you had been using Ruby In Steel you could have integrated his design
quite simply using our Visual Rails Workbench. This lets you either do
drag and drop page design in in Visual Studio itself or you can
import/export designs to and from Dreamweaver or some other web design
tool. Ruby In Steel takes care of deconstructing the pages and
translating them into multi-file ERb templates then reconstructing them
as HTML when you need to do the full-page visual design.

More info here:

http://www.sapphiresteel.com/Visual-Rails-Workbench-The-Import
http://www.sapphiresteel.com/A-Brief-Guide-To-The-Visual-Rails
http://www.sapphiresteel.com/A-Brief-Guide-To-The-Visual-Rails,235

best wishes
Huw

SapphireSteel Software
Ruby and Rails In Visual Studio
http://www.sapphiresteel.com

d3ntaku wrote:

hi reinhart -

i checked out your blog. do you do freelance rails consulting? i am
working with some other people in indonesia and it seems you could
teach them a lot.

is reinhart a german name?

tx,

/dc

On May 31, 12:54�pm, Rails Terrorist <rails-mailing-l...@andreas-

Thanks bro, Indonesia has many experienced rails and most of them are
hired to Singapore, Pakistan, Malaysia and event USA. We have event for
ruby conf, monthly or 3 monthly, in Jakarta that we called as
Jakarta.rb.

Thanks for your offering partnership to me, we can talk privately trough
email. Here is my email : Booking2Heaven [at] yahoo.com, maybe i know
one of your people if they are active in indonesia ruby forum.

Sazima wrote:

Reinhart,

How does your designer charges?

Cheers, Sazima

On May 31, 12:54 am, Rails Terrorist <rails-mailing-l...@andreas-

I charge my designer hourly. I use Australia standard hourly charge
because indonesia hourly charge is lower than Australia's. I check daily
his job online, or he send me file and sometimes he send me screen shot
list.

Fortunately Indonesia has PayPal Payment Method, so that I can pay him
by paypal. or bank transfer that is only charge me 5$ each transfer to
Australia.

Imposible is nothing. It's easy to make designer understand rails unless
you created your application by XML, FLEX, or Grails, you need expert
designer then.

Reinhart
http://teapoci.blogspot.com

At my new job, the designer did the layout of the site including images and so on and it was my job to integrate that design with a Rails app. Every time I needed a new image I would just talk to the designer and he would have it done in minutes.

This should come as no surprise but I'll say it anyway - if your remote
designer does his/her job well and produces solid CSS-based layouts that
appropriately subdivide the content areas of the page, you shouldn't
have any major issues applying that layout to your rails app.

That being said, it always helps when you, the coder, understand enough
design to be dangerous and vice-versa for him/her, the designer vis a
vis Rails.

c.

Ryan Bigg wrote: