She's Crafty Create your own website wireframes with web-based Hot Gloo

Posted by maggie.hunsucker August 5, 2009

hotgloo logo

Information Architecture and Usability aren’t considered the fun – or sexy – elements of web design, but planning how content will be displayed and accessed on your site is far more important than any design frills.

If you’re in the market for a new website or landing page, try using Hot Gloo.  Hot Gloo is a Flash-based wireframming application (non-nerd translation:  wireframes are like bare-bones renderings of your website or application). They are used to layout navigation, content, and overall flow, and usually proceed any actual design work.

One way to keep project costs to a minimum is to build your own.  Trust me, you don’t have to be an information architect or know how to command any fancy design software to create a wireframe.  Not to mention, this product is incredibly user intuitive.  Hot Gloo provides a library of elements – text boxes, buttons, image holders, etc – and a simple drag-and-drop interface.  Each element is controlled by a properties box, so you can alter sizes, shapes, and labels, as well as mock-up site interactions like mouse overs, links, etc.   I really dig the automatic alignment feature.   It makes it very easy to justify multiple design elements and create a crisp, cohesive looking site.

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It took me 5 minutes to layout an entire website (I won’t even tell you what we charge clients for that).  Granted, my site is bogus.  But you can still see how this tool would be useful for a project manager or marketing professional tasked with a new site design.   It’s marketing’s role to craft messaging and define how we want the target customer to think, feel, and ACT.  Here’s a way to literally illustrate those actions so a designer can interpret them on your website.

Hot Gloo also comes with project management and communication tools built in, so you can easily share edits, make comments, and get design approvals.

Want to find out more about Information Architecture and Usabiliy? Check out the Nielsen Norman Group website. They take a bare-bones approach to their own website design, mainly so you aren't distracted in your quest for information.

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2 Comments on “Create your own website wireframes with web-based Hot Gloo”

  1. I'm trying to not take personally the comment that IA and UX isn't fun or sexy-- I guess it depends our your perspective. Hot Gloo definitely looks useful and I do applaud efforts to use low-fi design approaches before full-fledged graphic design and rich media development. However, having the tool alone will not make your website or software product better unless you understand your audience and, at the very least, basic principles of what makes good experiences. I'm sure the Digital Scientists agree that UX and IA are skills that involve a balancing of art and science that can take years to hone. It's why you charge your customers for the service. Also, I feel it is my duty to point out that IA and UX are more than just wireframe-creation processes. In the best organizations, these disciplines are involved in strategic planning, research and testing, technology selection, customer service, and provide down-stream designers and developers with the information they need to create the right design with the right interaction. Emily Leahy-Thieler posted on
  2. At first blush this looks like a game-changing tool. Has anyone found any weak points or limitations yet? Very excited about this. Oh--and I agree with everything Emily said! Malcolm Wolter posted on

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