Wireframing on Clickz

Bryan Eisenberg (of FutureNow and GrokDotCom) has a good article in today's edition of ClickZ called Framing the Problem. It's a good, simple introduction to the “why wireframe?” question, and considering ClickZ's audience (marketers, advertisers), it's good to see IA mentioned there, though not explicitly.

At the end, Bryan adds in an Einstein quote (“If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.”), which reminded me a lot of a similar discussion of wireframes and other deliverables — John Zapolski's Zen and the Art of Deliverables (PDF) presentation at the 2002 IA Summit. To paraphrase John's comments, if someone asks you how long it takes to make a sitemap, tell them it takes five days, even if actually takes two hours. The four and a half days you spend thinking about the information architecture problems make it possible for you to create the sitemap in two hours.

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Wireframing Apps?

I currently use Macromedia Fireworks (yes, I also use Photoshop but find I work a little faster in Fireworks) to develop wireframes. I used Visio in the past but was frustrated with the inability to 'do what I want' --- I did not find Visio flexible to draw what I want or insert the font/image I wanted.

What applications do you use for Wireframing?

a thousand turtles

Reminds me of a story my printmaking teacher used to tell. There was a Chinese emperor whose name had the character for turtle, and turtle became a personal symbol for him. He went to a great Buddhist monk/calligrapher/artist and asked him if he would do a great painting of a turtle for him. He would return in a year for it. The year passed and the emperor returned. He asked the monk for his painting. The monk took a piece of paper and swiftly painted a turtle and handed it to the emperor. The emperor thought the monk had procrastinated all this time, and had him killed for not taking this assignment seriously. Then he noticed the great beauty of the painting, how each line seemed to capture the turtle-essence. He and his guards started looking around, and discovered a trunk filled with thousands of turtle paintings. It seemed the monk has painted dozens of turtles every day for the year.

My printmaking teacher was a bit morbid.