Sitemaps and Wireframes are deliverables of an Information Architect (IA). However if you compare sitemap, wireframes and their documentation from different IA’s, you will notice that there is no common standard between them.

Sitemaps and Wireframes are artefacts to communicate the design. However in their current form they not self-explanatory. So additional information often in form of documentation, is required. This additional information however isn’t structured information and therefore may result in miscommunication.

Another problem with Sitemaps and Wireframes is that they aren’t aligned with each other. They developed independently, and therefore the relationship between them isn’t always easy to make.

Except from the alignment problem there is also a gap between UML Use Cases and Sitemaps and Wireframes, as well as between the Sitemap and Wireframes with the UML diagrams that models the static- and dynamic behavior (e.g. Classdiagrams, Sequencediagrams, …).

The Universal information architecture Modeling Language (UiaML) was designed to cope with these problems. Like UML, UiaML is a symbolic modeling language which consists of different diagrams. Additional to the definition of the symbols, UiaML also defines a set of documentation properties. Those documentation properties can be seen as a set of questions which must be answered to prevent miscommunication.

Sitemap Diagrams (SMD) and Contentarea Diagrams (CAD) are the core of a UiaML model. Around the core plugins can be added. A plugin adds either documentation properties to existing diagrams or introduces completely new complementary diagrams.

Except for the diagrams UiaML also offers Views. Views will be derived from the UiaML diagrams. A typical UiaML view is the Wireframe View, which will be a Wireframe as we know it today.

However lots of the ideas around UiaML aren’t written down yet, and currently the community around UiaML is very small. The result is that the progress of adding documentation and realizing a UiaML tool is slow.

So any feedback and support is welkom.

With regard,