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Thread: Tool for Designing and Presenting Site Navigation

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Tool for Designing and Presenting Site Navigation

    When we talk to customers and get past the "who and why" part of the process of designing a site, we present spreads showing the layout and navigation.

    The spreads are done by a designer in the tool of their choice and are usually a couple of pages showing the visual design. But we like to present a navigation proposal along with the spreads so the customer gets an idea of how the site will hang together and page relationships.

    I am looking for an end-user friendly (preferably) online tool to quickly mock up site navigation. Ultimately, this is just a series of labelled boxes in a heirachy, with some interconnections. Some facility for defining where the connections come from a main nav bar or a footer menu or a side nav etc would be useful.

    Currently, this would be done in something like visio, but this is overkill for something that happens and the non-technical end of the process. So I am looking for a tool that can be used to quickly mock up page relationships by someone non-technical.

    I have been looking at the various wireframing tools out there, and some do provide what appears to be an easy way to get page relationships setup, but are still aimed at a designer/developer.

    It occurs to me that perhaps it isn't a web design tool I am looking for at all, just a general purpose flow mapping tool?

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnhernandez View Post
    Microsoft dream viewer, flash and photoshop are used for designing and navigation.
    Thanks johnhernandez, however these options don't really fit the criteria above.

  3. #3
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    To be honest, if somebody can't figure out how to use Visio, I might wonder why they got hired. There is even a web site layout map template(Templates->Software and Database->Web Site Map(US units)). I had to use Visio to show various network layouts, and I had never used the tool. While it took a little bit of time, I figured it out by myself and felt comfortable using it even after the one use with it. If a person has experience with Word beyond just as a word processor, it will be even easier to learn. If your company already has it, use it. If you don't, there are open source alternatives to it unless you don't mind putting down the money for it.
    Last edited by spufi; 02-17-2012 at 08:59 AM.

  4. #4
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    The answer to a question looking for a simpler approach than using visio naturally excludes the option of using visio as an answer. Thanks for replying anyway.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulkoan View Post
    ...an idea of how the site will hang together and page relationships. I am looking for an end-user friendly (preferably) online tool to quickly mock up site navigation.
    I think what you are looking for is a "mindmapping" tool. Such a tool is used to organize, connect relationships, and/or 'flow' related topics: writing essays, sales report structures, project management grouping, etc.

    I have no specific products to mention, but Google for 'mindmapper' and investigate what these applications can do for you.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsmither View Post
    I think what you are looking for is a "mindmapping" tool. Such a tool is used to organize, connect relationships, and/or 'flow' related topics: writing essays, sales report structures, project management grouping, etc.
    Yeah, that was the conclusion I was drawing too. Even an org chart tool would probably do it.

    These are what I am looking at now, thanks.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2008
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    Creately (http://creately.com/) looks like it will do what we want. Thanks for your input everyone.

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