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Phase 2 Summary

Structuring a site for redesign is the spot in the Core Process for issues to be raised (such as concerns over old vs. new content) and for problems to be solved (such as solutions as to how to split the information into sections). Phase 2: Structure answers specific questions: How is the overall structure organized? (Answered with the sitemap.) What exactly goes on each page? (Answered with wireframes.) How do the pages work with one another? (Answered with interactive wireframes.) Planning the design of the site's information is a critical step for any web project. And yet it is a common mistaken assumption that redesign projects can simply appropriate the information, design, and/or content from the existing site and essentially skip this step. Hopefully, this chapter dispelled that notion.

Taking the time to structure the site — specifically to build the sitemap and the wireframes — is one of the most time-consuming and least-expected challenges of a redesign project. It is time well spent, however, because with the site structure and content established, the team is on solid ground to move forward into visual design development. Web design workflow often starts with the designing of the visual graphic user interface before the information design is set — errant sequencing that almost always results in an inefficient use of design resources. Why? Changes at a graphic level generally take more time than do similar changes at a wireframe level. Planning and strategy are always worthwhile.


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