Prototyping has been captivating me for quite some time now. Since 2012, I teach Interface Prototyping at the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design in Kiel, Germany and especially over the last few years, I could watch prototyping slowly attracting more and more attention in the Web community. And at the moment, the topic is gathering even more momentum: Tools like Framer, Adobe XD or also Sketch (with InVision’s Craft Plugins) are rapidly evolving into the next generation of design tools, with prototyping baked right in. More and more articles and talks about prototyping are seeing the light of day and there are many good reasons to believe that prototyping is central to developing products for a Web that is as flexible and diverse as ever.
At the same time, it is also harder than ever to stay up to date on all the different topics in Web design and development. One way to fight this is to rely on weekly or monthly newsletters, curated by people who care about the respective topic. I really appreciate those updates, for example Rachel Andrew’s CSS Layout News, Val Head’s UI Animation Newsletter, or Anselm Hannemann’s invaluable Web Development Reading List.
So I’m starting something new in 2018: Prototyping.news, a carefully curated newsletter all about prototyping for the Web – for strategists, designers, and developers.
The basic idea is, of course, to provide all those of you who are interested in prototyping with an easy way to read, watch, and hear interesting and entertaining content about prototyping. Starting with the first issue, you will find links to articles, talks, tools, and everything else related to prototyping for the Web in your inbox. But I also want prototyping.news to be a prototype itself. So it should be flexible enough to evolve over time, adapting to the developments in the community. However, I don’t yet know exactly how this iterative improvement will look like. We’ll see.
Under the hood, the website for prototyping.news runs on Kirby, Bastian Allgeier’s neat file-based content management system, which is really a joy to work with. The setup is super easy and fast, you have full control over your template code and, as it is a file-based CMS, I can simply write the newsletters in Markdown an put them in the archives folder for publishing. This is exactly the kind of flexibility and convenience I wanted to be able to iteratively improve prototyping.news. If you haven’t worked with Kirby yet, I suggest you give it a try. It is super flexible and perfect for small to medium-sized web projects of every kind.
The website for Prototyping.news is hosted on Uberspace, the friendly German pay-as-much-as-you-want hosting provider. Setting up a new U7 uberspace was also super fast and convenient. With a few clicks and shell commands, you have a modern environment up and running: HTTPS via Let’s Encrypt with automatic renewal of your certificates and HTTP/2 is included, and even the most important security headers are already set for you.
The newsletters will be delivered via MailChimp for now. Depending on how the project evolves, I'm considering switching to a different solution, most likely Mailtrain.
Prototyping.news is a personal project that will always be free for its readers. At the moment, I don’t know if I will set up something like a voluntary PayPal donation. It is just too early to tell how the project evolves. But if you have a product or business somehow related to prototyping you can support the project by sponsoring an issue. If you are interested in that, please do get in touch.
I really hope that prototyping.news will be a helpful resource to everyone interested in the topic. If you have any ideas or feedback, or if you stumble upon an interesting link that you think should be included in the next issue, please don’t hesitate to write me a message – on Twitter, for example, or via the good old email.
The first issue of Prototyping.news is almost ready and like all issues it will be published on the last Friday of the month. If you haven’t signed up yet I’d be happy if you do so here.