Sitemaps and wireframes for Rich Internet Applications

7 Aug 2007 - 9:36am
9 years ago
1 reply
1161 reads
Catriona Lohan-...

Can anyone point me to some good resources as I am working on pageless
navigation RIA's and want to be inspired. Sitemaps, wireframes, prototyping,




12 Aug 2007 - 8:31pm
Nathan Curtis

You may also want to consider combining other popular Adobe tools for documenting rich internet applications and behaviors. At EightShapes, we\'ve had much success using Adobe InDesign to produce both artwork & deliverables together or combining InDesign (deliverables) with Illustrator or Photoshop (artwork).

The key to this approach is the modular use of linked files as supported by the Place command available in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop. With linked files, you can create a fluid array of relationships that enable reuse and efficient maintenance and scale to your designs.

For example, you can create a grid of component variations, place and crop that artwork in page views representing different states, and then place all of these different representations in site maps and design deliverables. Label or behavior update? Then change in the source file and the update propogates everywhere.

I\'ve found layers in Photoshop (and other Adobe products) limiting because then it\'s more painstaking to reuse and maintain that artwork to illustrate items in different contexts like a component, page, or map level (cropping linked files is more universal, whereas layer exposure can be troublesome and inconsistent across products).

Another great thing about InDesign is the rich, easy to create PDF behaviors. You can add behaviors like click, hover, and more (while hiding unnecessary document elements like page numbers, titles, etc) and quickly produce a clickable prototype. Sure, it\'s in acrobat, not a browser, but is far easier than taking screenshots or exporting for basic HTML implementations.

I\'ve written on the subject of modularity in Boxes & Arrows ( and my blog (, if you want to find out more.


Nathan Curtis
EightShapes, LLC

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