Website Wireframe

When we’re working on website designing, our clients are usually looking forward to see the outcome. In order to show efficiency to these clients, some web designers tend to skip wireframing – what we can say that is a big mistake. Here’s I’ll tell you why we should not skip this process, that is, how important it is to consider wireframing when working in a website project.

Wireframes are the foundation to a website. Before working on the creative aspect, we need to do it. They are plain black and white layouts that outline the specific size and placement of page elements, site features, conversion areas and navigation for your website. We can compare it to a blueprint to a house that shows you the structure of the house (plumbing, electrical structures)  without its interior design like furniture and appliances.

There are many reasons why we should wireframe websites before we start designing them. The first one is that it allows you to see the architecture of your website without distractions such as colors, images, logos and so on. The second one is the help you can get from it in determining the features you want and need on your website that will meet your client’s need. Sometimes, when creating a website, we, web designers, offer some features to our clients which they are not able to figure out the need and importance for them. Wireframing makes your ideas tangible, real to your clients. They will be able to see what you mean when you mention “hero image,” “google map integration,” “product filtering,” “light boxes” and hundreds of other types of features. Wireframing specific project features on a website can clarify your communication to your client. It can also help you on deciding to exchange a feature that you realize that it doesn’t fit your website purpose.

Another important point to consider using wireframe is that it helps you to foresee the usability to your website. Without design distractions, you can have a better objective look at the website functionality, conversion paths, naming of links, navigation placement and feature placement. Wireframes can point out flaws in your site architecture or how a specific feature may work. And this is a great thing as your client can provide feedback earlier in the process. Skipping wireframes delays this feedback and increases the costs of making changes because full design mock-ups must be reworked, not just simplified wireframes.

Above all these reasons to use wireframing is that it saves time in the website creation process as your designs are more calculated, your development team understands better what they are building as they can see the website contents more clearly, and you avoid hacks later on in the process.

For the sake of clarification and time, it is advisable that you use real words instead of lorem ipsum. They will help you and your client have a better idea of the website outcome. Using real text in headings and call to actions, and they can focus on the words without being too distracted by the design they can give you a better feedback on your work.

Besides all the benefits in using wireframes, they are not typically used to test or validate your product design because they are static and have little to no interaction, therefore there is very little that you can achieve with them in terms of assessing user flow or overall user experience. Moreover, the visual representation of branding may be impaired as the wireframing just visualize the overall layout and core structure. For example, during the wireframe phase, you will be choosing the space needed between the main groups of components, such as the header and footer, body and sidebar of a webpage. But if your client wants to see what happens if he clicks that button-looking thing or flip between screens? At this moment, you need to consider using prototyping to help you.

Wireframes are considered to be a means to a prototype. Prototypes are the most functional, useful documentation you can create. With the prototype you can test your interface ideas and generate the feedback necessary to keep the design headed in the right direction. Prototypes can (and should) be used during every stage of the design process.

Web designing experts say that the standard (and safest) design process doesn’t cut any corners. At first, working with initial sketching can funnel the better ideas prior to wireframing. The wireframe then sets the stage, suggesting the best proposals for content structure. Next, a lo-fi prototype is created from the wireframe itself by adding interactivity; this is tested for valuable early-stage feedback that can be incorporated before fine-detailing takes place. A high-fidelity mockup would then finalize the visuals that are incorporated into a new prototype.

A series of rapid prototyping (multiple quick prototypes that integrate feedback with each iteration) prepares the product for its final stages in coded development.

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