Creately Blog » Effective Sitemaps for your Web Projects

posted28/06/10 Effective Sitemaps for your Web Projects sitemap, teams, web-design

At Creately we are all about increasing project efficiencies with Visual aids. We help other companies be more effective using visual tools, and now we are kicking off a series to share some insights.

Over the next few weeks we will be looking at how we use Sitemaps, User Flows, Use Cases, User Stories, Wireframes and more in delivering an effective website / software product to a client. It’s a lot to cover, and do let us know if you have more ideas at blogs@creately.com

Sitemaps

When kicking off a project its always important to settle on a content structure for the site. While some argue the sitemap is a dated artifact now as content linking happens in many ways, we believe it is really useful when used right.

It’s a great tool to help visualize how the site is broken up, what the main pages are going to be, and where in the content hierarchy they belong. We definitely think its an important tool to use in a project to bring more clarity and consensus.

sitemap-creately

When to use

1. Creating a new site:

Use it to identify broad content areas, sub sections and a conceptual structure for the site.

2. Updating an existing site / redesign -

Go through the site and generate a map. We recommend against typical ’sitemap generators’ as they pick out all links to create the structure. Not all links are made equal!

By documenting what’s in the site now, you can start curating the content

Guiding principles

1. The site map is a organization and a planning tool. It is usually not the final outcome of the site. Use it not only to identify main areas of the site, but also page types, templates that go with them, secure/ non-secure pages etc.

2. Quickly agree on the first version of the site map and keep revisiting through out the project. Use it as a top-level view to identify what has been completed on the project, what high level decisions were made etc.

Best Practices for Sitemaps

creately-draw-share-validate-and-export-diagram-1
1. Brainstorm first. The best way to do a sitemap is actually NOT to start with a sitemap. Try working on a mindmap with your client and the team. It will be a natural structure for you to capture all the ideas, then start grouping them together.

2. Identify the main content areas and their page breakdowns.

Content headlines, subsection headings should be recorded by this time. A good idea would be to record them right in the document itself.

The earlier you get this done, the clearer your clients and teams understanding of the project.

3. Mark out pages that include special functionality.

Got some pages that need to be loaded securely? some with forms? some featuring video content? mark them out in the sitemap itself.

4. Identify design variations.

Some pages in the site / app may have different theme’s or design elements. Color them differently to identify groups of these pages easily.

5. Keep it ‘Alive’

Review and revisit the site map as your understanding of the project changes. New pages, changed structure, new names; doing the simple updates to keep the document up-to date will ensure that you’ll have less confusion in your team and happier clients.

6. A High level view

Use the site map as a high level view to the project. You can link the user flows, wireframes and other documents you create on to the pages to keep track of progress and to provide a unified view to your client and team.

So how do you use Sitemaps in your projects?

@Chandika

Try Creately Now

via creately.com

Posted via email from Creately | Comment »

Creately brings diagramming to the FogBugz platform

Creately brings diagramming to the FogBugz platform

Creately’s plugin for FogBugz helps developers communicate clearly with their team by quickly adding diagrams to their favourite software project management system.

Melbourne, Australia June 14th 2010

Today, Cinergix announces the launch of the Creately for FogBugz plugin, making it easy for FogBugz customers to add Use Case diagrams, mockups, flowcharts, UML designs or any other diagrams to their bug reports, cases and wiki pages. Creately will provide software developers a better way to communicate with their teams and document software projects visually on the popular Fogbugz platform developed by FogCreek Software.

“Capturing requirements clearly and accurately saves project teams a lot of time. With Creately for Fogbugz, software and support teams can now quickly add wireframes, use cases, UML designs and flowcharts into Fogbugz feature requests, bug reports and project wiki so everyone’s on the same page,” said Chandika Jayasundara, CEO, Cinergix Pty Ltd. “Traditionally Fogbugz has been a text-based collaboration platform, but with the Creately plugin, software teams can communicate visually, directly impacting the team’s productivity. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.” added Mr Jayasundara.

Creately for Fogbugz is integrated into the core workflow of the Fogbugz platform and offers the same easy to use Creately interface. “We want to ensure this powerful new visual collaboration paradigm is adopted by the Fogbugz community, so we’ve designed it to fit seamlessly into the Fogbugz interface and developers’ daily work routines.” concluded Mr Jayasundara. Fogbugz users can directly edit their software diagrams in the browser, making it easy to keep project document up-to date and removing the need for expensive desktop-based diagramming software.

Creately for FogBugz plugin is available for installation on your own Fogbugz server starting from $85/user with bulk discounts available for larger teams. A hosted version for FogBugz OnDemand will be announced shortly.

Creately for Fogbugz is now available at the FogBugz Plugins website and includes a free 14-day trial – http://bit.ly/createlyforFB More details on this announcement can be found on the Creately Blog – http://creately.com/blog/announcements/diagrams-in-fogbugz/

About Cinergix

Cinergix is an Australia based company that builds and sells Creately - a diagramming platform and its patent-pending KObject technology. Creately is a powerful web-based software with an interactive interface and collaborative capabilities that are changing the way teams communicate and collaborate online. This new paradigm of leveraging user-generated content for design work will enable Cinergix to support the long trail of design problems. Started in 2008 by a team from Sri Lanka, the UK, and Singapore, the company also runs a research and development centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka. For more information, visit http://creately.com/about-us.

Contact Info

Charanjit Singh
Cinergix Pty Ltd
charan@cinergix.com
+628118600450 

Posted via web from Creately | Comment »

Creately Blog » And now, Diagrams for your Fogbugz platform

And now, Diagrams for your Fogbugz platform

collaboration, Features, news, partners, release, teams

FogBugz LogoToday, we’re happy to announce the release of Creately for FogBugz, a brand new plugin for everyone’s favourite software project management and bug-tracking system, FogBugz from FogCreek Software.

Creately for FogBugz lets everyone on your project team communicate clearly by easily creating and including diagrams in FogBugz. With full integration into the FogBugz interface, you can easily add Use Cases, Wireframes, Flowcharts, UML or any other diagrams to FogBugz cases and wiki pages.

Creately for Fogbugz plugin

Squash’Em Bugs

Bugs fixing will go a lot smoother when you can clearly explain the issues to developers. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so get everyone on the same page by adding annotated wireframes, or updated Use Cases to every FogBugz case. Anyone working on the case can edit and and modify diagrams as the case or feature is worked on.

Up-to-date Documentation

The ability to quickly add diagrams directly within Wiki pages will make documenting your software projects a lot less of a chore. No more attaching external Visio files, and no more expensive desktop-based software. With Creately for FogBugz, the whole team can update project documentation right within the browser, saving time and more importantly helping keep your specifications up-to-date.

Creately for FogBugz Pricing

Get it now!

Creately for FogBugz plugin is available for installation on your own Fogbugz server starting from $85/user with bulk discounts available for larger teams. Currently we only support Fogbugz on the Windows platform,  but a Linux and hosted version for FogBugz OnDemand will be announced shortly.

Download Free 14-day trial

Installation Help

Give yourself the advantage of Creately for Fogbugz by purchasing your license right now or if your not quite ready you can also download the free 14-day trial.

Try Creately Now

via creately.com

Posted via web from Creately | Comment »