Christina Wodtke and Nate Koechley delivered a very interesting presentation at webvisions 2004 conference in July.

Essentially they are suggesting a model whereby a lot of the IA (particularly wireframing) is done in a style that supports easy integration into a standards-based web design. One can imagine using divs & classes to define the structure of the page without needing to step into the “little box on the top right” kind of wireframe that really limits designers for no real reason.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I’m very interested in the idea of the XHTML almost being the wireframe for the site. “CSS Styling” is then the job of the designer. Replacing placeholder code with database and application hooks is the job of the developers. And the wireframe/XHTML is the site structure, page layout, and requirements documentation.

This is a big idea and I plan to work on this more.

If any designers with a passion for CSS want to discuss breaking up workflow between XHTML creation and CSS design, I’d like to hear from them.