How complete should wireframes and site maps be?

31 Jul 2007 - 8:35am
7 years ago
7 replies
666 reads
Akanowicz Ron
2005

What do you do when-

You don't have time or budget to do a wireframe for every page listed
on the site map?

You're handed someone else's sitemap and wireframes only to find
there are things on the existing site that aren't accounted for in
the new layout?

Ron Akanowicz
Usability Consultant
786-853-1666

ron at softerwareconsulting.com
www.softerwareconsulting.com

Comments

31 Jul 2007 - 9:40am
Joseph Selbie
2007

Ron,

My heart goes out to you :). You are in a tough position. Client
expectations are that you will provide them everything they need, yet you
don't have the time or budget to do it.

A few thoughts:

1.) If there are just a handful of extra screens to design, and the client
is one you want to continue working for, I would go ahead and do the extra
screens, even if you burn a weekend or two. I would let them know (without
being too pointed about it) that you did some extra work for them and
impress them with your value and hard work. The long term payoff should
offset the short term crunch.

2.) If there are a considerable number of screens, then your only choice is
to sit down with them and discuss the problem. Change orders, contract
extensions, etc. are not news to companies. They happen all the time. They
are generally not very welcome and you may get some resistance, but if you
are caught in a situation where a significant underestimation of the work
has occurred, I don't think you have a choice.

3.) If it was you who made the significant underestimation of the amount of
work required and you signed a contract to deliver it all, you may be stuck.
Call it a learning experience.

4.) A compromise position might be developing block diagram type wireframes
for screens that are very similar to screens that have already been
developed. Create a style guide that breaks screen elements down into types
and then reference particular elements in the style guide on your block
diagram type wireframes. Whether this approach will work or not depends on
the awareness of the development team that will be creating the finished
screens. If they "get it" it could work very well.

Good luck.

Joseph Selbie
Founder and CEO
Tristream
530-477-5777 x-202
530-277-6326 cell
jselbie at tristream.com
www.tristream.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Akanowicz Ron
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:35 AM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] How complete should wireframes and site maps be?

What do you do when-

You don't have time or budget to do a wireframe for every page listed
on the site map?

You're handed someone else's sitemap and wireframes only to find
there are things on the existing site that aren't accounted for in
the new layout?

Ron Akanowicz
Usability Consultant
786-853-1666

ron at softerwareconsulting.com
www.softerwareconsulting.com

________________________________________________________________
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31 Jul 2007 - 8:45am
Mark Schraad
2006

On Tuesday, July 31, 2007, at 10:37AM, "Akanowicz Ron" <ron at softerwareconsulting.com> wrote:
>What do you do when-
>
>You don't have time or budget to do a wireframe for every page listed
>on the site map?

Build a systems base page and elements architecture and adopt previously established interactions from pattern libraries online.

>
>You're handed someone else's sitemap and wireframes only to find
>there are things on the existing site that aren't accounted for in
>the new layout?
>
I think you have an obligation to discuss omissions with the product manager or client. The nice thing to do would be discuss them with whomever built those original wireframes first. Lots of times you can spec the smaller details (that are ubiquitous) in the content map or standards document.

>
>Ron Akanowicz
>Usability Consultant
>786-853-1666
>
>ron at softerwareconsulting.com
>www.softerwareconsulting.com
>
>
>________________________________________________________________
>Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
>List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
>Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>Questions .................. list at ixda.org
>Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>
>

31 Jul 2007 - 9:40am
Elyse Sanchez
2007

We rarely wireframe every page of a site, instead identifying the unique
layouts and creating templates for each. I generally deliver these
accompanied by a "key," which identifies which templates are to be used
for which screens.

Akanowicz Ron wrote:
> What do you do when-
>
> You don't have time or budget to do a wireframe for every page listed
> on the site map?
>
> You're handed someone else's sitemap and wireframes only to find
> there are things on the existing site that aren't accounted for in
> the new layout?
>
>
> Ron Akanowicz
> Usability Consultant
> 786-853-1666
>
> ron at softerwareconsulting.com
> www.softerwareconsulting.com
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

31 Jul 2007 - 11:29am
Akanowicz Ron
2005

This is certainly a workable solution. The only problem is our
developers get cranky when we show generic pages that might have
dynamic content in the sidebars.

For example, on all story pages we have a wide center column for
content, but then the right sidebar may contain the most popular
within this category.

Joseph: Thank you for your suggestions as well- I agree that in the
end it's about making the client happy with what he has.

On Jul 31, 2007, at 11:40 AM, Elyse Sanchez wrote:

> We rarely wireframe every page of a site, instead identifying the
> unique layouts and creating templates for each. I generally deliver
> these accompanied by a "key," which identifies which templates are
> to be used for which screens.
>
> Akanowicz Ron wrote:
>> What do you do when-
>>
>> You don't have time or budget to do a wireframe for every page
>> listed on the site map?
>>
>> You're handed someone else's sitemap and wireframes only to find
>> there are things on the existing site that aren't accounted for
>> in the new layout?
>>
>>
>> Ron Akanowicz
>> Usability Consultant
>> 786-853-1666
>>
>> ron at softerwareconsulting.com
>> www.softerwareconsulting.com
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
>> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>>
>

31 Jul 2007 - 12:51pm
Chris Pallé
2007

I find it helpful to design templates with the notion of components
or widgets or patterns in "states," but only indicating major
changes. If you've ever seen or worked with animation, think of
points for "keyframing."

As Mark indicated, file management can be one of the biggest time-
sucks. Make use of "master" pages (in Axure) or library components
for elements that are grouped together (nav bars, pagination navs,
story layouts with greeked text, etc.) this can be a huge time saver
because you should be able to edit a library once and modify many pages.

As far as populating modules with dynamic content, the above works
very well. Just remember to ensure your layouts will not fall apart
should the content expand areas: just account for the largest,
complex scenario and then make incremental changes that make most
sense for smaller solutions.

Developers should understand and be able to work with templated
solutions.

I'd try to get every page possible on the site map. Again, just
prioritize from complex and critical to the simple. Sometimes the
simple can be explained in a functional spec. format.

Hope that helps-
CP

chris.pallé, {human} experience
--------------------------------------------------------
blue flame interactive
732.513.3570
chris.palle at blueflameinteractive.com
http://blueflameinteractive.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/chrispalle

On Jul 31, 2007, at 1:29 PM, Akanowicz Ron wrote:
This is certainly a workable solution. The only problem is our
developers get cranky when we show generic pages that might have
dynamic content in the sidebars.

For example, on all story pages we have a wide center column for
content, but then the right sidebar may contain the most popular
within this category.

Joseph: Thank you for your suggestions as well- I agree that in the
end it's about making the client happy with what he has.

On Jul 31, 2007, at 11:40 AM, Elyse Sanchez wrote:

We rarely wireframe every page of a site, instead identifying the
unique layouts and creating templates for each. I generally deliver
these accompanied by a "key," which identifies which templates are
to be used for which screens.

Akanowicz Ron wrote:
What do you do when-

You don't have time or budget to do a wireframe for every page
listed on the site map?

You're handed someone else's sitemap and wireframes only to find
there are things on the existing site that aren't accounted for
in the new layout?

Ron Akanowicz
Usability Consultant
786-853-1666

ron at softerwareconsulting.com
www.softerwareconsulting.com

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
Questions .................. list at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
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31 Jul 2007 - 8:55pm
Tania Schlatter
2007

We also rarely wireframe every page of a site. We try to identify the
1-2 most likely paths the majority of users will take through the
site, get the client's approval and prototype/wireframe the pages in
those paths. In general, working out the flow for those page
sequences addresses most or all of the flow issues on the site.

Once those paths has been worked out we identify all instances of
unique display and/or behavior (pages and page fragments) that need
visual/UI design and create templates that show examples of the most
complex display situations (after checking to make sure the situation
works for the most simple display as well). This sounds like what
Chris Pallé is doing when he says:

> I find it helpful to design templates with the notion of components
> or widgets or patterns in "states, " but only indicating major
> changes.

In this approach, the pages in the wireframe and the templates
designed to show appearance and behavior do not all match.

If we come across additional unique instances that were not accounted
for in the project scope and they are not easily addressed by the
conventions we are already developing for the site, we raise the flag
with the client and get approval for additional time.

Tania

Akanowicz Ron wrote:
> What do you do when-
>
> You don't have time or budget to do a wireframe for every page listed
> on the site map?
>
> You're handed someone else's sitemap and wireframes only to find
> there are things on the existing site that aren't accounted for in
> the new layout?
>
> Ron Akanowicz
> Usability Consultant
> 786-853-1666
>
> ron at softerwareconsulting.com
> www.softerwareconsulting.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tania Schlatter, Principal
Nimble Partners, LLC
617.499.1925
tania at nimblepartners.com

1 Aug 2007 - 10:58am
brennste
2007

Ron,

I have been using (what I call) a Content Model to wireframe every
page in a site or app, but I separate presentation from content.
Strictly boxes and arrows :)

I like to think of it as a poor man's storyboard. I also provide a
GUI block diagram (what I think you are calling a wireframe here) and
a style guide to the developers. This has really streamlined the
process for all concerned.

Jim Brennsteiner

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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