SIGIA-L Mail Archives: RE: Why Visio wireframes are outmoded (Was [Sigia-l] NYU IA classdescription link)
RE: Why Visio wireframes are outmoded (Was [Sigia-l] NYU IA classdescription link)
I totally disagree with your line of reasoning, see below for a
> the far more robust XHTML/CSS
> wireframing model, which I expect will completely replace
> Visio wireframes, here are some reasons why:
> * (X)HTML/CSS wireframes are standards-compliant and
> semantically structured, and contain semantic id hooks, as
> well as class attributes (allowing for precisely defining all
> content types that will be the basis for the visual styles of
> the design.)
This is irrelevant for the early phases of design. Only when you are nearing
implementation this may become interesting. Besides that, the only semantics
in XHTML there are are links, headings etc. Actually, XHTML is very bad at
semantics anyway, that is why XML has gained popularity.
> * The intial version of these wireframes are pure structure
> and content and do not force the hand of the visual designer
> in terms of layout. Instead, it allows for bringing the
> visual designer earlier into process to develop a
> presentation concept.
I fail to see the logic here. Wireframes without any form of layout are
rather useless. Wireframing is a technique for documenting a design so that
doesn't mean a visual designer hasn't had any influence in it.
At some point the basic visual design needs to be done and once that is
done, it is ok for the wireframes to reflect it.
> * The visual design is now implemented using a wireframe that
> becomes the actual page template, rather than the duplication
> of a separete HTML comp,and the host of problems that come
> with any form of specification duplication..
What does this have to do with wireframing techniques? The same thing can be
done in Visio using backgrounds or standard shapes. Besides, this also
depends on how you build your XHTML wireframes. So I don't see the
> * The CMS folks have a structured document to frame their modules
> * Rather than existing like some hermit in Visio world, this
> places the IA directly in the workflow--where they
> belong--rather than making deliverables that require somebody
> to redo the work in another format to make it function.
I don't agree. XHTML wireframes do not allow you to make annotations to
described the desired functionality as it happens on the page. A complete
specification is needed anyway.
> * Clickable HTML wireframes are more powerful and easier for
> business users to understand.
Visio wireframes can also be made clickable very easily. Actually easier
than in XHTML since you don't need to create millions of files yourself.
> * HTML wireframes contain all the instrinsic qualities of a
> web page (such as how it should respond to window resizing)
> that would be difficult to communicate with a Visio wireframe
Again this has nothing to do with using HTML. Window resizing is largely a
coding issue. An IA can specify it once and that is all.
> *Working directly in the medium helps us understand the
> context, power, and limitations of the design, eliminating
> possible rework when you see the wireframe realized in HTML
If you don't understand the context of design, you should not be a designer
in the first place!
> * In terms of ROI and efficiency, Visio wireframes are
> extremely inefficient and ultimately get in the way of design
> and development--there is too much concern for how
> Visio/Illustrator/Omnigraffle works rather than the browser.
A rather unfounded statement I would say. Your logic is mainly that doing it
in HTML is more efficient because you'll need it anyway. The whole point of
doing wireframes in anything BUT XHTML is that it is clearly a DESIGN and
not a protoype.....once you have mastered Visio, you can work very
efficiently. How a design becomes a site in XHTML is a different thing and
there are many ways to do it efficiently, depending on the type of project
and the (technical) constraints.
I'd be happy to leave Visio at home, but I haven't seen anything better
Martijn van Welie
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: Mon Jul 11 2005 - 15:28:35 EDT