Four Kitchens

Vote up these SXSW panel submissions from your fellow Drupal community members!

4 Min. ReadDevelopment

SXSW voting ends Friday, September 2. Please help our your fellow Drupal community members by voting up their sessions! (And feel free to leave a comment if I overlooked your submission.)

OMG your RFP is killing me

Speakers: Joe Rinaldi and Rawle Anders (Happy Cog), Jen Oliver (Weblinc), Rebecca Sherman (Blue Cadet), and Todd Nienkerk (Four Kitchens)

RFPs are like online dating. The WORST KIND of online dating. Imagine an online dating experience where all users have uniform information provided, one picture (and there’s no telling how old it is…), a host of clinical, antiseptic statistics and data, and from that information, you have to select a date and commit to more than just one rendezvous. You have to commit to 6 months of dating. This is what RFPs do. They take vendors and strip them of their individuality in the hopes of surfacing an illusion of an apples to apples comparison. […]

In this panel, business development professionals will speak to the RFP process and other options. Ways to circumnavigate an RFP will be discussed. Creative alternatives will be outlined and the strengths and weaknesses of RFPs will be analyzed. If you are building an RFP now, this is your intervention. If a project looms on the horizon, learn about your options. If you like a good war story, we’ll be comparing scars like Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss in Jaws. Let’s start architecting a better process. Let’s provide a solution that maximizes creatives’ capabilities and speaks to clients’ requirements, all while building a project team that collaboratively launches an amazing result.

Design is the answer to all business problems!

Speaker: Steve Fisher (Hello Fisher)

Design has been minimized or segmented so much that many see it as just a visual layer. That’s not design. Design thinking creates responses to problems, some would even say answers problems. This session is going to attack this concept from different angles and may even bust out into a fist fight. Ok… maybe not, but you never know. Designers are pretty emotional. I’ll explore different perspectives from a type nerd, to a usability geek, an emotional design expert and coder like no other.

Faster design decisions with style tiles

Speaker: Samantha Warren (Phase2 Technology)

Inspired by Samantha’s excellent DrupalCon Chicago session, we recently adopted the use of style tiles at Four Kitchens. They’re much cheaper and faster than iterating within comps, and clients love them. I can’t recommend this approach (and Samantha in general) more highly.

With responsive design designers need to rethink the process they go through to work with clients and developers to create successful visual designs. Rather than creating traditional comps, style tiles are a deliverable that help you to communicate with your client, establish a visual language and work iteratively with developers. In this presentation, Samantha will explain how to reinvent your process to leverage Style Tiles as a deliverable.

HTML5 APIs will change the web — and your designs

Speaker: Jen Simmons (

HTML5. It’s more than paving the cowpaths. It’s more than markup. There’s a lot of stuff in the spec about databases and communication protocols and blahdiblah backend juju. Some of that stuff is pretty radical. And it will change how you design websites. Why? Because for the last twenty years, web designers have been creating inside of a certain set of constraints. We’ve been limited in what’s possible by the technology that runs the web. We became so used to those limits, we stopped thinking about them. They became invisible. They Just Are. Of course the web works this certain way. Of course a user clicks and waits, the page loads, like this… but guess what? That’s not what the web will look like in the future. The constrains have changed. Come hear a non-nerd explanation of the new possibilities created by HTML5’s APIs. Don’t just wait around to see how other people implement these technologies. Learn about HTML APIs yourself, so you can design for and create the web of the future.

Web development process and Hollywood storytelling

Speaker: George DeMet (

Finding the right way to approach a Web development project can be a daunting task, as different projects can vary widely in size, scope, and team composition. In an effort to bring clarity to this problem, this session will examine the lifecycle of a Web project through the lens of Hollywood storytelling. In addition to comparing the site development process to the three-act Hollywood screenplay structure, we’ll examine how other narrative structures like non-submersible units and the Hero’s Journey relate to iterative development of enterprise platforms and helping customers achieve their goals. Along the way, we’ll also cover some best practices for delivering successful projects that are on time, on budget, and meet customer expectations. Not only will you come away with a better understanding of how to approach your next Web project, but you’ll also gain a greater appreciation for the life lessons taught by some of your favorite Hollywood films.

Designing for content management systems

Speaker: Jared Ponchot (Lullabot)

The job of a web designer these days includes designing for content that changes, is highly dynamic, and often does not yet exist. Gone are the halcyon days of static, 5 page websites that are just as rigid as a printed brochure (let’s be honest, we don’t miss that). This reality has created a great deal of debate within our industry and a fair amount of difficulty in our design processes. In this session we’ll cover some basic design concepts and principles that can be applied when designing for CMS-driven websites. We’ll also outline some tips and tricks for your design process, and explore some of the biggest hurdles and potential pitfalls in designing for yet created and ever-changing content.