I’ve been working with a client on a particularly sticky web / marketing problem that involves many books and different types of users that will be looking for and accessing information in different ways for different purposes. It’s definitely not a typical site with typical solutions. But, it’s very similar to ones I’ve worked on before, in that there’s a lot of data sources and all it needs is a simple way to connect them and browse them.
After several days of meetings and wireframes and witeboarding and sitemapping, I think we finally got it. The answer, that came just before I had to leave to pick up one of the kids was some simple and easy that it’s exciting to get back into the whiteboard room (yes, the walls are all white boards) and explore this option. Essentially, we scaled the database application way back and instead of having it in 3 major sections of the site, we discovered how we can only have it in one section of the site. So far, all user’s needs are met and the site map and user flow has become much more easier to understand and follow.
Often times, what looks like you need a complex solution to work, can be solved with the simplest of ideas. It’s worth going back to the one, main issue you’re trying to solve and when you solve that, chances are, it’ll solve other issues too.