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8.7. Web-Based Prototypes

For the architect, a high point of conceptual design comes when a highly skilled graphic designer creates beautiful Web-based prototypes. More than sketches or scenarios, these digital renditions show how the site will look and function. While the balance of attention shifts with these prototypes towards the aesthetic considerations such as page layout and graphic identity, the prototypes frequently identify previously unseen problems or opportunities related to the information architecture. Once your architecture and navigation system are embodied in actual web pages, it becomes much easier for you and your colleagues to see whether they are working.

The designer may begin with two concepts based upon a single information architecture. After getting feedback from the client, the designer and architect may work together to adapt and extend the preferred concept. At this point, conceptual design ends and planning for production begins. The most exciting challenges for the architect have been met and the days of detail begin.

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