On the importance of naming and grouping layersIvan | Fri, 2009-11-27 22:40
There are obvious benefits to spending the extra time and effort grouping your layers into folders and naming them appropriately.
For one you will appreciate the organization if you have to work further on the file after considerable amount time went by. Second, your coworkers or your css programmer will appreciate a neat file as well.
There are some less obvious and immediate advantages to such tidy practices. Design is not done on paper or on screen. Design is something you do in your mind. You continuously evaluate your work and make further design decisions while you work. Design is an internal dialogue and the result is your design work.
The process of naming layers is not done only to differentiate the layers from each other. More importantly it helps the thinking process by making you stop and evaluate and shelf the piece of graphic you created. Is that line you just created a decoration, separator or a highlighter? Is the text you typed the headline or the tagline? Etc.
Similarly, the grouping (and perhaps coloring to an extent) helps not only to move elements together but more imprtantly helps you get things out of the way both mentally and physically. The activity also helps establish hierarchy within your design.
Failing to continously name layers will result in minor mistakes and will inadvertently block you from further refining your layout as the number of layers become impossible to manage. You will convince yourself the design is good enough instead of trying out further options which would be relatively easier if the layers were well groomed. If you force yourself to use a file with confusing layer names you will end up spending a lot of frustrating minutes trying to find the right layer (especially multiple layers) to be able to achieve what you have in mind. The free flow of ideas will be blocked and you will get anxcious to get the work done instead of enjoying what you like most — designing.
Summary: Grouping and naming layers is beneficial for both short and long term and it results in a more pleasant work experience and a better end result.
Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.