Presented by
Todd Ross Nienkerk
Adam Snetman
Update 2011-08-25: Slides can be downloaded here. Due to file size restrictions, we had to remove many of the image-heavy slides. You can download and view the full slide deck on SlideShare.

Drupal's theme layer is very flexible and can accommodate just about any web design. It's important for designers to remember, however, that they're not really creating a page — they're building a complete system to house the all of the site's content. By creating the sitemaps, wireframes, and mockups, designers are actually outlining a site's feature set. Designers, not developers, determine a site's purpose and functionality.

In this session, we will talk about the importance of understanding a CMS during the initial design phase of a project, as well as how to create a Drupal-optimized design. Standard practices, tools, and Drupal-specific shortcuts will be discussed in detail.

All too often, however, projects begin the design phase prior to choosing a CMS. In these cases, it's important for the stakeholders to understand that their choice of CMS may alter their design. To demonstrate the steps necessary to complete a successful Drupal "conversion," we will present a detailed, real-world case study of the Expeditionary Learning relaunch. Four Kitchens co-founders Todd Nienkerk and Aaron Stanush and Thinkso design director Adam Snetman will describe how they translated a thorough but CMS-unspecific design into Drupalspeak — all while minimizing cost and meeting the client's high expectations.

Intended audience
This session is intended for anyone who has had to create or implement sitemaps, wireframes, and mockups. Those unfamiliar with Drupal will learn what Drupal "wants" to do and will be able to more easily prepare these materials, and those who already work with Drupal will learn tips and tools for managing the expectations of clients whose designs haven't been optimized for Drupal.

Questions answered by this session
What should a designer know about a project before architecting a site or creating its look and feel?

Why are sitemaps, wireframes, process flow diagrams, and mockups important, and what are they supposed to communicate?

What happens when you're given a design that wasn't created with Drupal in mind?

What are the challenges a design firm faces when they aren't the ones implementing their design?

What tools and techniques can be used to accelerate the design process in Drupal?

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