Venture Project Update: Fun With Wireframes

The Venture Project has been officially underway for a little while now and one of the first items to be addressed is designing the Creative Control Engine (CCE), Venture’s extraordinary website publishing system and content management component. In short, CCE is how users will be able to manage and control a large, dynamic collection of web based material as well as providing direct control over all elements related to building and revising an institutional website. The initial step in that process is solidifying the design architecture by developing a series of wireframes, or visual guides…

The overriding goal in this phase is to ensure that the CCE provides users with incredible flexibility and control via a rewarding and easy-to-use environment. At its heart, CCE is being designed to reward creativity and that process begins by having users determine if they want to produce a website using a horizontal or vertical navigation structure. From here, a vast array of structural modifications can be enabled with nothing more than simple mouse clicks thereby ensuring that each site projects a unique branded presence (no cookie-cutters here). I’ve been especially pleased at how responsive the developer, Blueprint Design Studios, have been to these issues.

To-date, here are the latest versions of the horizontal and vertical navigation wireframes along with production notes:

Keep in mind, each one of these wireframes only demonstrate a fraction of the Creative Control Engine's flexibility.One of the most useful features is the platform's ability to automatically expand and contract based on the amount of content used.
Although the Horizontal and Vertical navigation structures allow users to add as much homepage content as they want, the vertical option shines at providing all that content without making things look too cluttered.

As you can see from the sketches below, each navigation option allows users the freedom to determine which modules are best suited to their needs, where they appear, and if all content appears within a typical page fold or expands as far down as they wish. When you include the enormous collection of additional plugins and widgets alongside regularly changing user generated content updated directly and on-the-fly by each institution, you can start to see just how powerful this platform packs.

This option forgoes the widgetized footer area but retains the content slider, custom content area, and widgetized sidebar.
In this variation, the goal is to place all of the content above the page fold while using a large content slider to present all relevant information.
Another option at placing all of the content above the page fold, this variation uses the widgetized sidebar and custom content area.

This option moves the navigation sidebar to the right, the custom content area is expanded, and the optional widgetized footer area is disabled.
In these variations, the content slider has been removed. This version has and the navigation sidebar oriented to the left.
Here we have the same options but now the navigation sidebar is oriented to the right.

Once this stage is complete and we determine which modules will be used and how they interconnect with one another, work will begin on designing the user interface.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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2 thoughts on “Venture Project Update: Fun With Wireframes”

    • Olga, the demo and detailed program info are going up once the Venture Project is concluded. you can sign up for a website launch notice at Nonetheless, in case you missed the initial installment in this series, the Venture Project is the final stage of the overall development process. However, I do have a great deal of information I can share with you directly, feel free to reach me at the email address listed in the left sidebar above or by calling my Chicago office at this contact number.

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