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Save Time – Use Style Tiles

In 2007, my wife and I purchased our first house and the very first thing that we did was replace the carpets. It was awful, I’m pretty sure the carpet came installed with the house in the early 70′s. They were an ugly mixture of pinkish colors and smelled of rotted animal droppings. My wife and I drove down to the carpet barn to take a look at some carpet and get some samples. We found a few that we really liked, but my wife wanted to see how it would look in our house. The carpet people were really helpful, they gave us five squares or tiles of carpet samples that we took with us to check out how they would look in our house. The idea is perfect. The carpet barn doesn’t want to go to all the expense and labor of coming out to our house, spending the day installing carpet only to finish and getting the response, “Ummm, that doesn’t look right, can we get the other one?” When designing a website we spend some time in discovery finding out what the client wants and needs, building wire-frames, developing a design document, and finally cranking out a few comps. Now, hopefully these comps that we spent half our day on is exactly what the client wanted, but what if it isn’t? Then we go through the process of taking their feedback and spending another day developing a comp and hoping we got closer. There is an easier way. It’s called Style Tiles. Check out these Style Tiles:

As you can see, using style tiles is a great way to convey a sense of design that the final site might have without the hours needed to develop multiple PSD’s. Style Tiles can show a color scheme, typography, some imagery, icons, patterns and textures, really anything you need to show your client.

Style Tiles was created by Samantha Warren, a designer at Twitter and a template can be downloaded at her website located here: Have you ever used style tiles or been given a style tile by a designer? How did it go? Did you notice a quicker turn around time?