Wireframing : The Perfect Choice

Choosing to work with wireframes is one of the first steps one should take before designing a website. For the layman, the topic of wireframes may relate to just web designers and software developers. However, the fact of the matter is that wireframes are actually used by a variety of disciplines. Yet the main functionality of wireframes depends on the profession per se. For instance, a developer would use a wireframe to understand the functionality of a particular site. Whereas a designer would use a wireframe to push the user interface process. On the other hand, information architects would utilize wireframes to illustrate the navigation paths that is present between pages. Likewise, there are business stakeholders who would use wireframes to make sure that objectives and requirements are met via the design.

Example of a wireframe

Creating a wireframe gives the client, developer, and designer an opportunity to take a critical look at the structure of the website and allows them to make revisions easily. Most teams discuss the requirements with their clients, and maybe sketch a few quick ideas on paper, and then jump right into Photoshop to design the layout or into Dreamweaver to do the coding. This is not always the best approach as this can result in hours of productive time being wasted on revisions. It’s always best to design wireframes as an initial step in the designing process to save loads of time in the long run. By doing this, you can address problems early and not wait to resolve the issues during the full colour phase.

Let’s take a look at why wireframing is the perfect choice for you and your clients.

Get an early view of the site design

Project requirements might seem like excellent viable ideas during project initiation, but unfortunately project are rarely simple. Anyone with experience will know the gobs of unforeseen problems that you’re likely to face when you start drawing the design ideas on paper. Wireframes take considerably less time to design than Photoshop layouts, so you can spend time early on using wireframes to map out the functionality of the pages. This will help you get a thorough understanding of the user experience at the early stage and therefore identify potential usability problems with the design. It’s way too easy to make adjustments early than spending way to much time on revisions.

Just simple and clear

Having the skeletal framework minus the aesthetic details eliminates the distraction of an element’s visual treatment. When reviewing a web page layout for the first time in color, it’s very easy for the client’s opinion to be influenced by the graphical design. For example - Imagine having the Call-to-Action (CTA) button in yellow and your client happens to hate that yellow? Your client will likely be influenced by the CTA button’s appearance, which will probably make it harder for him/her to focus on the layout of the page. Feedback may be, “I think this needs to be re-worked”, even though the layout works well. Thus, a simple wireframe without any colour distraction will let you get important feedback on sizing, layout and placement without your client making life harder for you.

Understand your client better

Working on wireframes will let you understand your clients better. The feedback you get from your clients and your interaction with them will give you a better understanding of what to expect during future stages of the project. For example - when you initially lay out quick line drawings of the page, the client might comment on a particular element on the layout. As you’re working through the process of wireframing you may notice that the client is consistently commenting on certain elements. This will help you track the feedback patterns and learn about what your client wants to see and what he doesn’t like. Having this knowledge and applying it to the future phases of your project you will save considerable amount of time.

Save your time and effort

It takes a lot more time, effort and expertise to create a full coloured layout on Photoshop than a wireframe. The first thing your client sees is a finished design which took considerable amount of time to design. But the design changes are inevitable and involves considerable time and effort to revise. However, when we review wireframes, both internally and with clients, design changes can be reworked in a matter of minutes. If you don’t like the size of the button, make it smaller. If it is too small, then tweak it a bit to the perfect size. Wireframing makes it quick and inexpensive to make revisions in any day.

Image from - http://www.acenticmedia.com

Learn How Creately Diagrams works

Learn How Creately Diagrams works