Wireframes, supporting documentation, and software choices

19 Feb 2009 - 2:49pm
5 years ago
16 replies
1163 reads
sherihy
2008

What software do you use to do the documentation to support your
wireframes? (eg, the tables that list out each interface item,
description, system response, error states, etc.) The same software
that you use to create the wireframes? (and if so, what software is
that?)

At my last company, we did wireframes in Visio and the element tables
in Word. So we had to paste the Visio wireframes into Word and update
two documents, which I hated. But Visio can't handle tables well, in
terms of wrapping the text, tabbing through them, etc. (Or can it?
Perhaps there are features for tables that I don't know about?) Does
Omnigraffle have features for creating and using tables like Word
does?

Or have you dispensed with element tables entirely, in favor of
annotations, and if so, can I see samples and how do your developers
feel about that?

Thanks,
Sheri

Comments

19 Feb 2009 - 11:06pm
Mary Specht
2009

You could try Axure, if you work on a PC (not available for Mac). It
allows you to build the wireframe and annotate it at once. Then it
automatically builds the product requirements document when you're
done.

It makes sense if you're working by yourself. But it can be tedious
for collaboration--you have to have Axure to make changes and
generate a new version of the requirements doc. (On the other hand,
if you "own" the requirements doc anyway, it makes sense).

It might be worth a trial for what you're doing.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Feb 2009 - 4:25am
Anonymous

Yes, Axure it's a very powerful and fast solution to create
wireframes and generate documentation.

Ferran Alvarez
Information Architect

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Feb 2009 - 6:45am
Adrian Howard
2005

On 19 Feb 2009, at 11:49, Sheri Hyman wrote:

> What software do you use to do the documentation to support your
> wireframes? (eg, the tables that list out each interface item,
> description, system response, error states, etc.) The same software
> that you use to create the wireframes? (and if so, what software is
> that?)
[snip]

Paper. Pens. Whiteboards. Sticky notes. Being in the same room as the
developers. Talking.

Lots of talking.

:-)

Adrian

20 Feb 2009 - 9:20am
Christopher Risdon
2009

I use InDesign, or a Fireworks/InDesign combination depending on the
fidelity of the wireframes.

I like InDesign because it's great for vectors, and it's great for
'editorial', since it's a powerful publication design tool. And it
does tables just fine, though I just go the annotation route.

You can still use .eps files/templates and maintain libraries, and it
does most any vector task that Omnigraffle or Illustrator can do.

Obviously it's more expensive, but it's what I use because it does
drawing and text very well in a multi-page document.

- Chris

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Feb 2009 - 11:41am
jcderuna
2009

I agree with Adrian as well. I prefer storyboards and sketchboards
more for exploring ideas and not getting into the details so early.
Then as I get to the end of the design process, where most of the
interactions have been discussed and conveyed throughout the group, I
proceed to wireframe documentation using OmniGraffle.

Here are some past discussions related to this topic that may help.
http://www.ixda.org/search.php?tag=wireframes

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Feb 2009 - 11:53am
Christopher Risdon
2009

Also, with InDesign you can create clickable PDF prototypes, which is
handy.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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20 Feb 2009 - 2:36pm
Anonymous

Has anyone ever tried using Axure (or something like it) to design/spec OS-based applications (Windows, OS X, etc.)?

I'm helping my new employer overhaul their development process, most of which by adding a formal design process (they've never had one), but half our products are browser/web-based, and the other half are OS-based. We'd love to standardize, but want to be sure the solution we choose works well for both areas.

I'm a fan of the Adobe solution (and know how to use all the apps), but my counterpart on the browser/web-based side of the house would have a steep learning curve. We've got Visio, which I know how to use, but my counterpart would have some learning to do there too, and I wouldn't call myself a huge fan.

20 Feb 2009 - 5:55pm
Mark Schraad
2006

Ooops... thinking raster... hands typed vector... clearly a mind body
conflict...

On Feb 20, 2009, at 12:08 PM, Todd Zaki Warfel wrote:

> Um, Illustrator is vector.
>
> On Feb 20, 2009, at 11:38 AM, mark schraad wrote:
>
>> I like Indesign as well... it handle vectors much better than
>> illustrator...
>
>
> Cheers!
>
> Todd Zaki Warfel
> President, Design Researcher
> Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
> ----------------------------------
> Contact Info
> Voice: (215) 825-7423
> Email: todd at messagefirst.com
> AIM: twarfel at mac.com
> Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
> Twitter: zakiwarfel
> ----------------------------------
> In theory, theory and practice are the same.
> In practice, they are not.
>
>
>

20 Feb 2009 - 6:20pm
Todd Warfel
2003

Just checking.

On Feb 20, 2009, at 5:55 PM, mark schraad wrote:

> Ooops... thinking raster... hands typed vector... clearly a mind
> body conflict...

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
Twitter: zakiwarfel
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

20 Feb 2009 - 6:35pm
Anonymous

does anyone in here even work on desktop software?

20 Feb 2009 - 7:06pm
Anonymous

I use Balsamiq Mockups. It is a great tool if you paper prototype. I paper prototype a lot but always had issues sharing it and importing it into the computer. Taking pictures and storing them and going over them becomes tedious after a point. Instead, you can use Mockups to make simple paper-based wireframes.

20 Feb 2009 - 8:46pm
gfrances@iconta...
2008

"does anyone in here even work on desktop software?"

Used to at my old job. At least, before we migrated the app. to the web...

20 Feb 2009 - 6:06pm
Eugene Kim
2005

I just recently switched back to Mac after a 6-year hiatus and I've
gone back to creating everything in Photoshop just like the old days.
I work off a template that includes a branding and project name
header (which only changes per product), a text field for my
annotations on the left, and space for the wireframe on the right.
I'll create the footnotes and place them all in a layer folder.
Then I'll convert the files into a compressed format (usually gif)
and import them into a PDF. I use Acrobat's footer feature to
handle pagination and modified date.

I miss using Axure and I've gotta figure out a new method for
prototyping (maybe just run it in Parallels), but working exclusively
with Photoshop has reminded of how much I enjoyed creating exact
wires.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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21 Feb 2009 - 3:32am
Eirik Midttun
2009

"does anyone in here even work on desktop software?"

I do!

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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23 Feb 2009 - 2:48pm
Samantha LeVan
2009

I used to work on desktop software and found that because most of the
interactions were long-time standards, usually a pixel-perfect mock
sufficed. I now use a combination of methods to generate wires and
mocks and import them into PowerPoint or Word. I don't have InDesign
or Illustrator but the Office products are easy enough for me to
import graphics into and then I usually annotate them as necessary
with the interaction recommendations.

Note that I'm no longer a designer per se, but mainly a
researcher/analyst. My level of detail is far less than what most IAs
must do.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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23 Feb 2009 - 2:23pm
sherihy
2008

Thanks all! Very helpful.

Sheri

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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