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Site Maps

Do you create Site Maps for your prospects/clients? I assume you do if you’re in the business. What tools, techniques, and methods have you found most conductive for building good looking site maps (and fast)?

Do you use Adobe Illustrator? Microsoft Visio? Another application? I’ve used all of the above and some other programs and have never been happy with any of them. Typically they’re too hard to use and take hours and hours to create. I find myself messing with little details constantly rather than actually building the site map and making the structure of the site my focus.

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  1. Well, I’ve also found sitemaps at times to be a bit daunting. In my personal experience I find it best to find a software package (any one) that works and try and stick to it without modifying the visual elements more than you have to. In essence, creating a template that contains all the visual objects you would ever use in a sitemap, and start from there every time. It limits the amount of work, but there are times when projects/clients demand more/less than what you template is set up to allow.

    Typically, I find that there will either be a call for a high level of detail (so as to communicate with team members and clients that are interested) or a low level of detail(For most clients who just simply want to know basic scope/interactivity of their site).

    There are many more ways site structure can/should be communicated
    (http://www.sitepoint.com/article/architecture-deliverables)
    …but, to stay in keeping with this post, here is an interesting article that talks about some other site map specific issues that we face:
    http://evolt.org/article/The_problem_s_with_sitemaps/4090/710/index.html

    …sorry for the novel, I am done. 🙂
    -j

  2. …Whoops, that last link I posted is mainly about site maps within a web pages, however after reading it through it seems that the “online” site maps and printed ones share some of the same issues 😉

  3. Ok…my problem is I am trying to post a comment with a lot of words, so my posts are getting all mixed up. here is the first “part”, I’ll post the next after it.

    Well, I’ve also found sitemaps at times to be a bit daunting. In my personal experience I find it best to find a software package (any one) that works and try and stick to it without modifying the visual elements more than you have to. In essence, creating a template that contains all the visual objects you would ever use in a sitemap, and start from there every time. It limits the amount of work, but there are times when projects/clients demand more/less than what you template is set up to allow.

    Typically, I find that there will either be a call for a high level of detail (so as to communicate with team members and clients that are interested) or a low level of detail(For most clients who just simply want to know basic scope/interactivity of their site).

  4. There are many more ways site structure can/should be communicated
    h ttp://www.sitepoint.com/article/architecture-deliverables
    …but, to stay in keeping with this post, here is an interesting article that talks about some other site map specific issues that we face:
    h ttp://evolt.org/article/The_problem_s_with_sitemaps/4090/710/index.html

    …sorry for the novel, I am done. 🙂
    -j

  5. FYI…the reason there is a space in the “http” part of those links is because I was not allowed to post my comment with the links all in one line?..very strange.

  6. i turn on grids in illustrator, create a round edged box add a line of centred text in it, centre both elements then arange the boxes to reflect the page structure plan, then you simply edit the centred text for nice sitepappery – i use colour coded encompassing elements to hilight dynamic and/or database features

  7. Wow! If Jeff posts 5 comments all the time BrainFuel could really start to look like a popular blog! Hehe, j/k Jeff. Good comments all around and I’ll read them again later today.

  8. I haven’t done a lot of mapping myself, but I now work at a software company that builds one big web app, and the architecture team here uses Macs for the sole reason of OmniGraffle. It’s supposed to be very dragndrop easy to use. Link here