Wireframes guidelines

June 5, 2008
  1. Consistency is key, especially when presenting multiple wireframes. It ensures that clients will be impressed by the professionalism of your wireframes. More importantly, colleagues take wireframes quite literally, so consistency makes their design and production work go more smoothly.
  2. Visio and other standard charting tools support background layers, allowing you to reuse navigation bars and page layouts for multiple pages throughout the site. Similarly, Visio’ s stencil feature allows you to maintain a standard library of drawing objects that can be used to describe page elements.
  3. Callouts are an effective way to provide notes about the functionality of page elements. Be sure to leave room for them at the sides and top of your wireframes.
  4. Like any other deliverable, wireframes should be usable and professionally developed. So tie your collection of wireframes together with page numbers, page titles, project titles, and last revision date.
  5. When more than one information architect is creating a project’s wireframes, be sure to establish procedures for developing, sharing, and maintaining common templates and stencils (and consider establishing a wireframe “steward”). Schedule time in your project plan for synchronizing the team’s wireframes to ensure consistent appearance and for confirming that these discrete documents do indeed fit together functionally.

From: Morville, Peter and Rosenfeld, Louis (2002), Information Architecture for the World Wide Web – 2nd edition, Sebastopol: O’Reilly, p. 288-9

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