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Feb 27, 2007: Intuitect launches

Despite my innate distrust of software vendors and how they negatively impact industries, I'm glad to see that there's a new (first?) product designed specifically for information architects. I'm only partly biased because Fred Leise, Argonaut pal and all-around good guy, is one of Intuitect's designers and principals. (Disclaimer: I like Fred enough that I was willing to serve on the company's board of advisors.)

The early versions I saw last year looked promising, and the bullet points sound good:

  • Drag-and-drop Sitemaps
  • Cascading Wireframe Updates
  • Integrated Flowmaps
  • One-click High-Fidelity Prototypes

I do know that many of us will identify with the first line in Intuitect's About Us page: "Intuitect was born of frustration."

Congratulations, Fred and friends!

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Comment: Neil (Feb 28, 2007)

Since you recommended this tool, I went to the site to check it out. But for a tool aimed at IAs, the site's lack of IA didn't offer me any help for the one thing that I wanted to know, "Can I run this on my Mac?" I had to click around a bit, then needed to drill down a few levels only to discover that it wasn't stand-alone software, that it was a Visio plug-in, and that therefore was of no use to me.

I just had to laugh at the irony of the situation.

Comment: Adam Bialek (Feb 28, 2007)

As Lou Rosenfeld has noted, all websites have an IA, whether good or bad. So to state that Intuitect.com has a lack of IA is a bit of over-reaching. We believe that our site organization properly reflects both the content that we are offering and the needs of our audience.

We would point out that the following information is clearly stated on our main Intuitect Professional product page: “As a Microsoft Visio Professional 2003 add-on, Intuitect…” That statement is provided as the third of four short paragraphs on the page.

We also note that Macs now have the capability of running Windows programs, so it is rather disingenuous to say that our product is “of no use” to Mac users.“

Comment: Neil (Feb 28, 2007)

True, that information is in the 3rd paragraph down, on a page 3 levels deep.

True, Macs can run your software - after paying for virtualization software, a copy of Windows, and a copy of Visio.

Comment: Lou (Feb 28, 2007)

I'm a Mac user, so I feel Neil's pain.

However, I'm much more inclined to level such criticism at bigger players who have no excuse (see http://louisrosenfeld.com/home/bloug_archive/2006/10/major_web_app_runs_on_windows.html ) before dissing small startups with limited resources. They simply must address the largest market segment in order to get established.

Comment: Neil (Mar 1, 2007)

I don't mind that they do not have a version available for OS X at all. It's perfectly fine that they've chosen to take the route they have. That's not the issue. The issue is that they build an app for IAs, but don't give out pertinent information on either their homepage nor their download page. That it must be ferreted out on the third paragraph on a page 3 levels deep, when all that's needed on the homepage is wording akin to, "a plug-in for Visio," that would have been sufficient to answer all questions to what their software is, how it works, and what I can expect from it. I.E. good IA.

Comment: Michael (Mar 1, 2007)

I completely agree with Neil. I was just suspecting that the software was PC only, but i cannot know it before sending them personal informations about me.

Omnigraffle allows me to do wireframes and flowmaps, Omnioutliner to do site maps and Louis Rosenfeld write books about IA methodology.

What can i need more? ;)

Comment: Fred Leise (Mar 1, 2007)

Anyone looking at the Intuitect Professional products page will see that our tool is a Visio add-on. No registration is required to see that page.

You are right, however, in that if you visit our downloads page without looking at the product page first, you would not see that information.

As part of our work in continually upgrading our website, we are currently revising the products section significantly and will try to make sure that the nature of Intuitect Professional as a Visio add-on is clear to our website visitors and those who want to download the free-trial version.

Comment: Chuck (Mar 1, 2007)

Finally! A reasonably priced UX tool with basic features. I look forward to evaluating it (after I evaluate the Parallels/Windows/Visio option).

Neil, you're being unfair. As Mac users, we have to take responsibility for choosing a system that has less software available to it, not whine about people _not_ saying immediately that they only support Windows! Windows is the current standard. We just have to hope that, as the number of Mac users grows, more small startups will see _us_ as their largest market segment!

And it takes only a minimally observant person to see that ALL of their screenshots show that it's obviously a Windows application! :D

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