Wireframing during a meeting

hey folks,
wanted to know how to sketch/wireframe while your sitting in conference and a client/boss is telling u how’s what and what goes where. its very scary for me coz i might miss something or misplace something which wasn’t there. so what’s the smart way?

I understand what you’re talking about but I still think it sounds like you’re more of a puppet than a designer, letting your boss and your client build the site instead of them trusting your experience and judgement.

Like the previous posters I believe that as far as material goes, a piece of paper and a pencil is your best bet rather than having everyone in front of a monitor.

To be fair, no I haven’t, I’ve been a freelancer since I turned 16 and co-setup a Ltd (before quitting at 18 to run fully self-employed). Though I have worked with what could be deemed an exceptionally large business (and plenty of others). I fully understand that there’s practicality reasons why a business may want something done a certain way but being perfectly honest, if what they want is an android which will do whatever they tell them (especially if it leaves the potential open for confliction between what’s good for the boss and what’s good for the customer) they may as well just save themselves the money and purchase a WYSIWYG editor and do the job themselves. No disrespect intended towards such businesses at all, but I can’t honestly understand why someone who’s not doing the job would want total creative control over how it ends up looking (as they won’t have the understanding to back it up). My negativity was directed towards the office politics that tend to occur in these situations, not towards the customers… I’m certainly all in support of whatever’s in the end-users best interests. :slight_smile:

Tell him that he’s paying you to do the job you’re experienced and qualified to perform, so why not just give some general scope as to what you want and then leave it in your very capable hands to do the job your being paid for. There’s nothing worse than a boss with a “god complex” who thinks as he’s in charge, he knows what’s best for every aspect of his business (whether he has any knowledge of the complexities of it or otherwise). I would be tempted to resign. :slight_smile:

Bah, my bosses all tell me where to put what. I just do it… because in that case I’m the code monkey.

Emar: I’d be drawing while he’s talking, and then show him what you have so he can correct you if you missed something. I do this ALL the time with one of my very-visually-picky manager (I’m no designer and while he doesn’t understand usability, he does have a good eye for design actually, so usually I let him sketch out who-what-where for me : )

This is typical case of the purse vs the mind. It’s gonna be the boss’ site, ultimately you will do as he ask… or else. He probably figures he’s saving you a few steps; never you mind the lack or respect to your profession or person.

What I do is I take this time to listen. The paper/pencil approach is best ( you will see why in a sec). But if by any chance you cant take all of his instructions down at once, it can be done one at a time it just seems more annoying to the client.

ok, once you have taken down all (or one instruction) gently point out the error listing non technical benefits to your procedure. i.e. dont say " coders do it this way… or "this is “standard”; say something like “Placing a button there will distract users from your product, which is the main purpose of your page, is it not?” I know that’s kind of nebulous, but I hope you get the gist. In the end the purpose is to IMPLY ( tho, not to say) that your expertise will lead to the best looking/functioning page , but that you will follow th emicromanagement , it being understood that HE will become responsible if the page does not function as expected.

the best analogy ( albeit a bit dorky) is you are the second in command in Star Trek . You point to the captain the BEST option to your knowledge . Ultimately HE decides which to use, but as such HE is responsible for the final out come in the case he chooses not to follow your counsel. Either way, you get paid.

Um, not to be facetious, but sounds to me like you need a pencil and a pad of paper. (Seriously!)

I agree with Max, regarding hard-copy pencil and paper. Either that or use glue and scissors and paste the annotated notes to the paper mock-up.

If it’s a videoconference, record it. If it’s in person, a simple sitemap app like WriteMaps might do the trick. The Balsamiq product is a much better tool, but WriteMaps is online, so maybe you could give the boss access and say, “Show me what you’re talking about.”

Not to be disrespectful, but…wow - you’ve not worked in the corporate world, or at least in a bigger company, have you?

There is a big difference between being able to design and being able to code/implement. Plus, unless you’re doing work for yourself, you’ve got a custmoer to satisfy. Whether it’s your boss or it’s a paying customer, you’ve still got to meet their needs. You may think your approach is better, but there can be business reasons for what they want. You can discuss why your design might be better, but in the end, it’s not your site - it’s the customers.

well the point is i m sitting with boss. he is telling me this should come here, here and here. now designs r already infront of him. all i need is a good way to note it down so i don’t mix things up. that is the thing i m looking for .no projectors. just a meeting n in that i get briefied this is wht is n this is what is not

You could use something like http://www.balsamiq.com/products/mockups and run it through a projector?

well maybe u got it all wrong coz i ain’t quitting on a little matter. the thing is that while in conference they tell me this screen should go here and there. button should go here and there. fields should be here etc etc. i want them to right it down but at the same time. draw the screen too

The smart way is to say “due to these working conditions, I resign”.

Why would you boss put you in that spot?

If you really, really want to continue working in front of audience, perhaps read up on handling public speaking. Seems like a similar thing to do. Relax, do research and rehearse the facts before you go into such a meeting.

EDIT: You have communicated your feelings to your boss, right?