What are wireframes? A wireframe is a schematic, a blueprint, useful to help you. Hence, making your programmers and designers think and communicate about the structure of the software or website you are creating.
Wireframes are a tool that we use on web applications and smartphone app projects because we think they are an efficient and cost-effective means of documenting form and function to the team. The type of documentation and the level of detail is always a balancing act on an agile project.
Wireframes are used to design (and define) the form and function of an application. It is usually a web application or smartphone app in our case. In our experience, they have proved to be a valuable tool in an Agile development environment because they facilitate secure communications between the project team, and they encourage iteration. They also served another beneficial purpose in our projects. They have reduced the volume of written specifications required. Hence, improving the overall clarity and operation of the application for both the customer and the development team.
It should be devoid of all branding; logos, colors, fonts, and decorative elements should not be prioritized at this point but saved for later down the design route. Instead, the focal point should be on the site’s structure, UX, and flow. To create wireframes, you can use programs, or you can stick to the traditional pen and paper. What is important is you get your ideas across to the client.
Benefits of Wireframing
- It can get clients on board with the design process.Getting clients involved at the get-go can help in a big way. This means your client is not left in the dark about why you have suggested this wireframe for them.
- Make changes more efficiently. Wireframes help you see if you are making the right decisions from a UX and information-hierarchical point of view. Hence, so you can build around it.
- It saves time and money. It provides more significant knowledge of the project, which will be fine-tuned to essential requirements. Therefore, minimizing the risk of redesigns. Nailing the functional part of the website means your designer will know how things will work before jumping in.
- It allows you to plan for website responsiveness. Wireframing helps you prioritize site elements while putting you in a good mindset. It will help you see how things will flow across different devices.
- Great for a client who only focuses on how pretty things are as it is based around functionality only.Clients can take a step back and think about the user-centric UX consequences of any ambitious design desires they have. They will be able to see and consider how the site will behave for their visitors over how it will look.
- It can make content development easier for copywriters.They will be able to gauge how long their content should be for each page, so it is tailored to the website’s design. It also lets you organize content in the most simple, effective way.
Process of Wireframing
The early stages of wireframing need close collaboration with stakeholders. It can be done using simple and low-cost agile modeling techniques such as whiteboard sessions. This gets the team engaged in robust discussion and make them focus on what the application needs to do.
From here, we then refine a few key wireframes, which are then the basis of further discussion and collaboration to improve the function and to start moving into the form.
There is less resistance to scrap a model and start again if it does not work. This then allows us to produce wireframes throughout the software delivery rather than needing to do all of them upfront. Again, this fits in with agile deliveries, where the development team and stakeholders do the detailed design throughout the project. This also means we do not design pages we do not end up creating.
The art of wireframing is one of finesse, and understanding wireframing has many a purpose. It is a great way to get an entire team collaborating on a project. Wireframing is an excellent tool for any project, especially web design. Wireframing is not your website’s layout design, but rather a visual representation of the underlying architecture and functionality of your website. It is more like its skeleton.