in a cyber wilderness
when you can't find your way around a website or figure
out how to use a web application…
lost in a cyber field when you have lots and
lots of buttons to choose from or links to click, but
no real sense of which one to hit to lead you to information
you desire. You're forced into a cyber corridor when
you have only two choices: keep clicking the only link
offered or go back.
involved in design of an effective website?
of these models must be designed to prepare an effective website:
Information model -- The first thing to describe is what
information needs to be presented to the visitor and what
information the visitor may provide (if any).
Navigation model -- In this next stage, describe the typical
paths that the visitor will follow in using a website /
webapp. For example, at what point in their visit visitors
require certain information; what is the information the
must be presented first, subsequently, last; what information
must be accessible from more than one start point.
Idiom model -- In this stage of website or web app design,
set out the screen controls or visual idioms that will be
used to implement the design. "Screen controls" or "visual
idioms" include such things as drop-down menus, radio buttons,
checkboxes, underlined links, etc. The design of the website
at the level of visual idiom is the next stage of design
once a navigational-structural design proposal is accepted.
Presentation model -- Once a design proposal at the level
of visual idiom is accepted, one or more proposals for graphic
treatment for the website / web app may be brought forward
and when accepted, a final design for the website will be
pretty straightforward but
like the design process for any kind of architecture, the process
is often rather "messy". A designer never begins a project with
a complete conceptualization of what the finished thing looks like;
rather "bits and pieces" of the desired product are the "ways in"
to developing the design. In the case of a website or web app, the
designer may have a sense of who and how the product would be used
-- could be expressed as a scenario. A designer may have a sense
of the actual workflow or part of it -- expressed as a hierarchy
of task, subtasks, and steps (the workflow). A designer may have
a visual sense of what the product will look like -- expressed as
a sketch of the User Interface (UI).
A design process
is also iterative. A designer begins with sketches and notes, and
reaches a conceptualization for the design -- which design gets
more and more defined, clarified, and realized with successive revisions
of scenario, workflow, or what the UI looks like.