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Inventive Labs: Web Problem Solvers

Using Blueprint as a Drafting Tool [11092007]

A couple of weeks ago I spent a day designing and building simple default templates for each of Blueprint's core page types ('blueprints'), ostensibly to help us demonstrate the system more easily to clients and friends. There are currently ten generic blueprints – Page, News, Links, Search, Events, Contact, Projects, Blog, Gallery and People – and each of them has one or more templates, all mixing a bit of logic with some HTML. There are companion javascript and CSS files, too.

blueprint_default

A by-product of completing this task is that Blueprint has gone from being something I started working with after the architecture of a new site was established (most often with pen and paper, followed by laborious and under-appreciated site maps put together in Illustrator Lineform), to being an indispensible tool in the drafting process: I can create a working site prototype in mere seconds, and manipulate it quickly within the drag-n-drop interface, testing hypotheses and seeing roadblocks much sooner than if I were starting from sketches.

structure

Obviously this isn't a substitute for thinking through the more complex IA requirements of larger sites, but for a typical small Blueprint site it's both appropriate and efficient, since whatever is achieved at this stage is carried over seamlessly into the development.

It's also considerably easier for people we're working with to understand, since the results have the dimension and interactivity of a finished site.

preview


David Koopmans [Thu 13 Sep 2007, 11:34AM] said:

"It's also considerably easier for people we're working with to understand, since the results have the dimension and interactivity of a finished site."

On that note, as one of your partners who needs to explain stuff to end clients, I can't tell you how easy you make it with this platform. This is how the web is supposed to be. Blueprint rocks.

James Lamm [Sun 15 Jun 2008, 6:42PM] said:

I am glad I found your site, keep up the good work. It would be nice to see a blog post on how you are working with the design part of blueprint, meaning the templates you apply to the blueprints.

Bill Ortell [Sat 27 Sep 2008, 12:18AM] said:

maybe I am totally missing the mark/point :)... lol - how do we get our greasy hands on this blueprint cms setup? :)

Jen [Thu 21 Jan 2010, 4:34AM] said:

Will Blueprint be available anytime soon? It looks wonderful!

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