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Modular web design is a new methodology that focuses on pieces or parts of a web page as opposed to the rigidity of templates. In this webinar, we will focus on how the next wave of web redesign projects should focus on individual parts that assemble the whole of a project as opposed to the old methodology of being template driven.
Modular Web Design
Pete Czech, CEO: New Possibilities Group, LLC
• Topic Overview
• About Web Templates
• About Modular Design
• Technology Considerations
• Wrap Up
Your Host: Pete Czech
CEO, New Possibilities Group
Co-founder of NPG in 2001
Background in custom web
What We Do
We are the experts in development of safe, secure custom content
NPG focuses on custom web development & design to create websites and
applications for clients with complex requirements.
Why You Are Here
You are here because maybe:
• You are tired of old school web design methodology.
• You are an early adapter of new techniques.
• You are undergoing or about to undergo a new design project.
• You were inundated by emails from me.
Thanks for coming!
Overview of Modular Web Design
• A new way of looking at web design.
• Eliminates the template methodology prevalent today.
• Allows for faster, cheaper redesigns.
• Will make your redesign / redevelopment projects last longer.
First, let’s review the theory.
According to Wikipedia:
Modular design, or "modularity in design", is a design approach that
subdivides a system into smaller parts called modules or skids, that can be
independently created and then used in different systems.
Focus on Reusable Parts – Not Templates
Already Prevalent In Industry
Many Industries Already Use Modular
Prefabricated parts mean faster
construction, lower labor costs,
quicker time to market.
An Amazing Example
Building, a prefab
put up the
and steel Mini Sky
City in the Hunan
provincial capital of
floors a day using a
LoveSac: Low cost, super-
Buy parts, assemble as you
Similar models in
commercial office furniture
and of course one of the
most profitable companies in
the world: IKEA.
Highly Profitable (or frugal).
Flexible for either consumer or
manufacturer – limited inputs creat
many different outputs.
Basically what most CMS systems are based on today.
Ushered in with advent of CMS platforms.
Was a great methodology back in the day.
The vast majority of established CMSs still utilize this method.
Templates: The Pros
Allowed for large websites to be CMS driven easily.
Gave administrators options for page layouts.
Integrated to most CMS systems easily or natively.
Templates are based on an old concept: Your CMS controls webpages, but
Templates are the leading cause of customer dissatisfaction with their CMS.
Templates are rigid by design.
Templates are highly dependent.
Templates ushered in our current state of sameness online.
content must fit the
mold of the template.
Templates: A Digital
Templates are bad for the web!
The ease of downloading and
installing templates has ushered in
a era of sameness.
It has also commoditized web
design: why hire a designer? Is a
developer really a developer?
But, the worst flaw: It’s rigid and
Modular Web Design: The New Way
Imagine having parts with near limitless potential.
Benefit 1: Enhanced Control
Quick, easy continuous improvement.
Fast prototyping of new pages.
Less dependence on developers.
Quicker development / deployment of pages.
Marketers dream: Landing pages in minutes.
Pick a page on your website today.
Screenshot between the natural page breaks – creating “modules”.
Print the modules out and trim them.
Begin to contemplate how moving and mixing modules allows you freedom
Benefit 2: Easier to Maintain
Maintaining parts is easier than maintaining templates.
Code changes, navigation changes – these are all made into parts.
Unlike templates, modules need not be dependent on other modules = less
coding dependencies = less technical debt.
Benefit 3: Politically Expedient
Approvals and revisions are
the biggest unknown factor
in a design project.
Easier buy-ins from
Old Cycle: Permanent =
New Cycle: Flexible,
Benefit 4: Cheaper to Iterate
Initial website design & development project can utilize few modules to get
New features or pages? Either use existing modules or…
Create new ones – a simple task.
In the past: Develop a new template – either off an existing or from scratch.
Hire a designer.
Pay your developer.
Benefit 5: Quicker Development
Modular design also means a hierarchal, modular codebase.
Adding a new module uses existing CSS styles which means expedited
Pages can be prototyped near instantly.
Benefit 6: No More Redesigns
Targeted redesigns mean no
more global redesigns.
New focus: Continuous
Redesign & Improvement
No more redesigns “because
it’s time to do it”.
Modular Tech Requirements
This approach does require the
The CMS Problem
Current CMS platforms are heavily focused on templates.
Modular plugins exist but fall short. There are few native solutions.
Modular design starts with content & design – not technology.
Available plugins still work the wrong way – technology first.
You can’t use frameworks built with predetermined notions of content. Pages,
The Ideal CMS
Organizes content into logical, understandable groups.
Understands that the website is just one possible method of distribution.
Allows for integration of content into modules both statically and dynamically.
Allows for drag and drop manipulation of modules.
Allows for creative, unique front-end experiences. Decoupling?
It is only the front-end experience that speaks to the user.
It must be a merger of content and user experience.
The modular administrative interface serves as the glue.
We now know:
Modular Design will help eliminate massive future
Focus is on reusable parts versus templates.
Problem: CMS limitations.
But there are ways to do it…!
How To Go Modular
Find appropriate plugins that properly integrate the modular approach.
Go with a customized solution.
WATCH OUR WEBCAST: CMS OF THE FUTURE!