IA Summit 2006: Wireframes I & II

Published on Author Christopher Fahey3 Comments

Even as we develop more robust wireframing systems, flat printable wireframes are still easy to draft quickly, and easy for clients to consume.

Two wireframe sessions in a row were scheduled on Saturday. It’s hard for me to say much about these panels because I have some pretty strong ideas about how to improve the practice of wireframing, so I hear everything these panelists have to say through through a filter of how well (or not) it fits into my own devious wireframe plans.

The first panel was a structured sequence of four sub-presentations about different “beyond-Visio” wireframing strategies, including HTML, Indesign+Illustrator, Flash, and Word. The second was billed as more free-form, which for me usually a bad sign, but in this context it worked because the panelists were able to bounce ideas off each other while adhering to a larger topical arc. A big plus was that the panelists were standing throughout the session, a definite boost to the panelists’ level of energy. The audience for the second panel was 90% the same people as the first panel, establishing a continuity of discourse that led most people to think that it should have simply been one long session.

Also learned about some brand new wireframing/sitemapping tools: Swipr (a plug-in toolset for Visio) and Axure (a stand-along Windows wireframing app).
The best part of both panels was seeing the differences between the specific and diverse approaches between the panelists’ wireframing tools. Ultimately we’re all seeking a holy grail wireframing system that does not yet exist. And like the tagging vs. categorization debate, the solution will, I think, end up being a flexible hybrid of flat printable artifacts, low-fidelity interactive screen decks and clickthroughs, and functional HTML prototypes.

Here’s how awesome I am at liveblogging: Luke Wroblewski has posted a superior liveblog summary of these sessions, so go there for some far more substantive meat about what actually happened.

3 Responses to IA Summit 2006: Wireframes I & II

  1. cool… I don’t have the slightest about all tech details…
    but check out the Game Design program richness at Brown College.
    There is about to be a major push to show Design synergies within all the academic programs at Brown ( Career Education: USA, Canada, Dubai, England, France and Italy).

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