WriteMaps was created to provide a fast, fun, and easy way to plan your websites. WriteMaps' aim is to enable any user, not just web professionals, with the tools they need to get their ideas mapped out in a visually pleasing environment.
WriteMaps is designed, developed, and maintained by Scott Jehl, of http://www.scottjehl.com, as an experiment in trying to make the website planning process more efficient and enjoyable. It's clear that today more and more tasks are made easier through web applications, and WriteMaps strives to join that cause. The idea for WriteMaps began after writing a tutorial on an html visual sitemap technique. Although crude in appearance, the technique was functional and received great recognition, but unfortunately it required fairly complex code to use. It was good for a proof of concept, but fell short in practicality. The next logical step was to use this technique in a web application as a way of visualizing user-generated content.
Why WriteMaps is better
There are many ways to create a sitemap, most of which involve expensive software, tedious box drawing, and other annoyances that get between your ideas and your results. What if this process could be more collaborative and efficient? This is the question that led to the creation of WriteMaps. With WriteMaps, you can set up an account and work together on a centrally located version of your sitemap. Your sitemaps are available at all times from anywhere - so there's no need to worry about exporting your files and sending them around.
Credits and Thanks
WriteMaps could not have gotten to where it is today without the help of many generous and caring people. The following people were extremely helpful throughout the design, development and planning of WriteMaps, and they deserve a big thanks.
- Stephanie Jehl, my wonderful wife, for putting up with me working into the early morning on countless nights, and for contributing ideas and practical feedback to make this application much more enjoyable to work with. Now that this thing is finally done, I look forward to spending at least a little less time in front of the computer screen.
- Jonathan Terranova - fine artist / graff artist / web designer extraordinaire. Jonathan is always down for discussing ideas and giving solid, honest feedback. Check out his site, http://www.jonathanterranova.com, and be sure to look at his stained glass work.
- Aaron Meisenheimer - Aaron provided lots of helpful feedback and ideas during the WriteMaps beta release and testing for the current version. Check out Aaron's work at http://www.thesurfproject.com/.
- Jon Reil - this guy is incredibly talented and puts a great deal of thought into every element in his design work. Jon was influential throughout the development of WriteMaps - questioning my ideas for features, and offering his expertise wherever he could. Jon also came through in the last few days before launch to provide some finishing touches on the design that really helped. I hope that all of his help has resulted in a tool that he can use in a work setting. Check him out at http://www.jonreil.com.
- Corey Byrnes - Corey has been key in reviewing and testing WriteMaps from the beginning. Corey's experience as a web project manager led to lots of thoughtful ideas for how WriteMaps could be a useful tool for web professionals. He's even said that he prefers WriteMaps to Visio any day, which is pretty good feedback I think. Check him out at http://www.inbluelight.com.
- Brandon Goldsworthy - Brandon puts up with me constantly picking his brain and sending him links to discuss. He gave feedback that led to the key removal of some extraneous features and has a very deep understanding of web development practices that is invaluable.
- Levi Ratliff - Levi might be the only person I know that works longer design hours than I do. He helped review and test WriteMaps many times during development and was quick to point out features that might be confusing to the user. Levi and his crazy-good street art can be seen at Urban Art Warfare.
- Mike Fretto - Mike is the kind of person who gives a lot and asks for very little in return. His design work is strong and meaningful, and more often than not, for a great cause. Mike contributed feedback on WriteMaps and was kind in letting me know when it simply was not working properly. Check him out at Silent Citizen and his clothing company with a cause: Rosa Loves.
- The Crew at Filament Group - Todd Parker, Patty Toland, and Maggie Costello. As the newly added fourth member of this studio, I can say that they are seriously good at what they do. They also provided some key feedback to WriteMaps that allowed me to keep it focused on the task - making sitemaps - and not straying far from it. http://www.filamentgroup.com
- Andre Sugai - the only MIT grad I personally know, which has to count for something. Andre is a talented web developer who gave WriteMaps a click-through on numerous occasions. Check out his blog at http://www.adingvalue.com/.