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View Poll Results: What do you call a preliminary website layout for the client to see?

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  • Comp.

    1 9.09%
  • Mockup

    9 81.82%
  • Sketch

    1 9.09%
  • Pilot

    0 0%
  • Prelim.

    0 0%
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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member jtchurch's Avatar
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    Question What do you call the preliminary version of a website?

    When you are speaking with the client or internally with your designers/sales/etc., what do you call the preliminary version of a website layout to present to the client for approval? (In our case a one or two page images in PS). I've heard it called a Comp (Composite), Mockup, Sketch, Pilot, Prelim... am I missing any? I want to create a standard that will make sense to our clients as well as staff in our company -but not 100% sure what to go with. I was thinking that a Sketch might make most sense to our clients, but don't want it sound rough/sloppy either.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums

    I usually use the phrase "mockup" because I always demonstrate things in a browser so the client can get a feel of how things make look across devices, and more importantly how it may work.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Member jtchurch's Avatar
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    So you actually build the website before showing it? An interactive mock-up? In our business model, the client is seeing the mock-up before they've signed or paid anything, so the more time spent on one is more of a risk if they balk at the price and walk. So I usually do a flat, image first because it's faster. Haven't actually had anyone walk yet though. Do you find that most of your clients are already familiar with the term Mockup?

  4. #4
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    Mittineague's Avatar
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    Hi @jtchurch ;, welcome to the forums.

    To me,
    sketch = rough drawing done on paper
    wireframe = more detailed drawing done on paper
    mockup = looks like the proposed rendered page but not fully functional
    prelim = pre-alpha but almost there

  5. #5
    SitePoint Member jtchurch's Avatar
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    Thank you for the replies btw.

  6. #6
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    TechnoBear's Avatar
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    I use "draft", which is not particularly accurate, I suppose, given that it's a basic working page rather than a drawing or image, but it doesn't seem to have confused anybody yet.

  7. #7
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    Mikl's Avatar
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    Surely the test is this: what term is the client likely to understand?

    On that basis, I would have thought that "draft", "mockup", "rough" and similar words would convey the correct meaning, but "comp" or "prelim" definitely wouldn't.

    But that's just my opinion. Why don't you try your preferred terms on one or two clients and see how they react?

    Mike

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtchurch View Post
    So you actually build the website before showing it? An interactive mock-up?
    Absolutely, I've always done things that way. It doesn't take long to put together a HTML/CSS wireframe to demonstrate main navigation, page view types, basic content structure, and recently/most importantly how pages adapt for viewing on phones, tablets and large screens - you can't demonstrate that with an image

    Quote Originally Posted by jtchurch View Post
    In our business model, the client is seeing the mock-up before they've signed or paid anything, so the more time spent on one is more of a risk if they balk at the price and walk.
    It sounds like you are doing "spec work"?

    Quote Originally Posted by jtchurch View Post
    Do you find that most of your clients are already familiar with the term Mockup?
    Yes every client of mine has known what "mockup" means

  9. #9
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    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Times are moving on, and different approaches are appearing, such as Style Tiles. This approach presents parts of a design, rather than presenting an entire layout at once. It seems a better way to build up a layout, although I haven't tried it.

    My preferred approach is to start with the content in quite some detail, as that informs the structure of the site and ultimately the layout. The pretty design part comes later.

  10. #10
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    Mittineague's Avatar
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    Off Topic:

    Considering the popularity or RWD it looks very promising. And I like the link to the "lorem ipsum" images a lot too.

  11. #11
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    Shaun(OfTheDead)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtchurch View Post
    So I usually do a flat, image first because it's faster.
    I load up the flat image onto an HTML page with a background colour, so the client can see what the 'mock up' looks like on a browser.

    I use the term 'draft' to refer to which version of the mock up they're seeing; ie. the 'first draft', the 'second draft', etc.
    Trying to fill the unforgiving minute
    with sixty seconds' worth of distance run.

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