SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Sitemapping and Macs
Re: [Sigia-l] Sitemapping and Macs
From: Stewart Dean (stewart_at_webslave.dircon.co.uk)
Date: Fri Dec 05 2003 - 11:26:01 EST
I was partly responsible for starting a Visio related discussion a while back
and got some interesting views in responce. Various tools other than Visio
where suggested and I went out and tried a few, I even had to use Visio again
in that time and found a slightly easier way to use it - namely to avoid using
the automatic connection boxes.
One recommended solution was Freehand, this allowing Illustrator type tools but
with multiple pages. I completed one project using it but came to the
conclusion that the interface was in desperate need of a rethink - the lack of
zoom keys is inexcusable, as is the inability to get the wheel mouse to work
If compatability with other IA's is the key then visio is the defacto standard
but after lots of swearing at various programes the one program I have now
returned to if it's down to sheer speed and flexibilty is Flash MX, especially
now the new version has spell checking.
Here's why I use it (no I'm not being employed by Macromedia).
Boxes are easy, and lines where always easy (overlap two lines and for a perfect
corner just select the overlaps and delete them - snap is available). Also the
new version makes lining up items a doddle with guides that appear that refer
to other items on the page - use it and you'll see what I mean. Perfectly neat
sitemaps without having to put guides in place.
In Flash you use frames like pages. You can move whole sections around quickly,
insert and duplicate sections and add labels where needed.
Create the prefect set if items and use them over and over. Even allows updating
of instances and locking of groups.
Visio attempts to do this but try turning off all items in all pages in one
layer - you can't. Flash allows multiple layers and allows you to rearrange,
limit to certain range of pages and generaly allows you to add and remove what
ever you need quickly.
For the pragmatic IA out there who wants to get something testable quickly you
could use Dreamweaver but if you're just doing wireframes then Flash allows you
to put together prototypes much quicker. It also allows you to add standard
form items quickly and frees you from having to worry about CSS and HTML
related problems. Using an invisible button object any set of jpeg files can be
made into a self contained prototype in a few minutes.
Sharing with other team members.
Save out as a player or embed in a web page. Nearly all new media companies have
the Flash editor, it's more common than Visio. Can be integrated into
Not that steep. Easier than Freehand or Illustrator and far less frustrating
than Visio - has tutorials for most things built in.
into a complete IA solution with Database intergration. More open standard than
Problem is most people think it's just an animation tool.
I still hold Flash is the best IA tool available, but I am aware not many people
are using it - which means it's back to Visio hell for team work.
Quoting Nathan Mealey <nathan_at_cycle-smart.com>:
> After having recently switched to Mac OS X, I am interested in a sitemapping
> program that will work on this platform. Previously, I have only used Visio
> on the PC.
> Anyone have any suggestions?
> Thanks in advance,
> Nathan M.
> Simmons College
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: Thu Dec 11 2003 - 03:57:38 EST