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SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: SIGIA-L: IA Tools

Re: SIGIA-L: IA Tools

From: Barry Campbell (
Date: Wed May 24 2000 - 14:30:32 EDT

At 12:08 PM -0400 5/24/00, Gordon Montgomery wrote:

>Anybody tried this tool?
>Fancy having a look and getting back to me?
>I'm reviewing it for in-house use and would appreciate external feedback...


I've been using Inspiration for a couple of months now; it's a standard
tool in the IA group in Xceed's New York office.

I use it to produce site maps and user flows, and also sometimes for
general brainstorming and organization of ideas. The outliner is basic
but functional; I tend to use the drawing tools exclusively.


It's very easy to learn and use, and deals with all but the most complex
diagramming requirements pretty handily. I've never run into a problem
exporting a drawing from this package into another application.

One nit to pick: It seems to be impossible to set default colors,
shapes, and link behaviors for the program; these defaults must be set
on a document-by-document basis, something of an annoying design
oversight. Hardly a showstopper.

Bottom line:

If you're a Mac user (I am), this is probably the best software of its
kind. (And at $70 US for a single-user license, Inspiration has to be
one of the biggest bargains going; even if you only use it occasionally,
it's quite cost-effective.)

If you're a PC user (I used to be), give Visio serious consideration;
it's more powerful, but also quite a bit more expensive. Since moving
to the Mac, Visio is the only piece of software I really miss.

Hope this was helpful.

Barry Campbell <>  |  233 Broadway 26th Floor
Senior Information Architect          |  New York, NY 10279
Xceed, Inc. <>    |  tel: 212.553.2615

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