ethan macdonald

Former model

Designer / Developer at

William Newton's drawing from Ryan Germick

I draw a lot of my information and inspiration from this article. I am an evangelist of the Design Pyramid.


The why.

Start with the Why.

  • Foundation for the whole project
  • Simon Sinek - TEDtalk
  • Keep it simple


User Stories

Identifying functionality within your site based on the user's wants and needs.

The site is not the beginning or end

  • Understand the before and after
  • Why are users coming to the site?
  • What will they do once they've left the site?
  • Helpful tips to UX exercises
  • Google Ventures - The Product Design Sprint by Jake Knapp
  • Hack Design 

How do they relate to the site?

  • Understand their expectations
  • User Stories should relate to the mission
  • Content is King

Testing as User Research

  • Best data comes from larger control groups
  • BUT!? The BUDGET!
  • Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug

Now you can “design”


This is the most important part

It's easy.

Look & Feel is tertiary to Mission and User Stories

The design is easy only after a lot of work.

Start early



  • Wireframes
  • Prototypes
  • Style Tiles
  • Style Guides
  • Hi-fi Mockups


Prototypes Rule

  • Very flexible
  • Gives client a tactile experience
  • Removes guesswork

Style Tiles

Style Guides

Hi-fi Mockups

Drupal + Design = Magic

Stay Hands On

  • Design-only - stay vigilant
  • Make sure no detail is spared
  • Unicorns - STAY VIGILANT
    • you know that designers are detailed
    • you have no excuse

Go over the top.

Go from 'good' to 'GRRREAT'

  • Take it up a notch
  • Don't ever stop at the execution phase!

Subtlety Helps

  • Animations
  • Element states
  • Transitions

Codrops are your friend.

So is Patterntap by Zurb

And... The Best Designs




Follow me @ghanbak

Follow us @brunelloinc

Designing for Drupal

By Ethan MacDonald

Designing for Drupal

Beginner level presentation about design processes not only for Drupal sites but for all websites and apps.

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