The Importance of Wireframes
Have you ever wondered why successful companies spend hours upon hours working on a project before they unleash it on the world?
One part of this is because they want to make sure it works, of course — but another major reason is to save themselves time in the long run by making sure certain elements are working together properly.
Wireframes are essential for this reason: A websites wireframe is like the guidebook that dictates the way visitors experience your site. It consists of a series of visual layouts which help the design team to identify what information needs to be included in the final product and how it should be organized and presented.
Wireframing as a step before user interface design also helps us prepare for potential questions that might remain unanswered: What will happen when you click on this link? How many columns do you want it to be? If something is going to expand or dropdown, how does it behave? Why does that number need to be there?
Why wireframes don’t get the attention they deserve in the web design process?
The reason wireframes are often overlooked is because of a common misconception that they are less important than their pixel-precise and pretty counterparts - UI designs. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
People are often obsessed with the look and feel of a design but forget about the most important step – creating a wireframe first. It’s like having a beautiful cake without any filling – you’re left with something that looks good but doesn’t really work.
Wireframes act as vital stepping stones towards the final visual product so you need to make sure you don’t skip them in your design process.
Benefits of wireframes
Wireframes reduce the work for resources in a design team. So for instance, if the project manager has wireframes, then the designer does not need to read a lot of instructions and can rely on what he sees in the wireframe; it reduces misunderstandings between developers and designers as they will know what they have to do due to wireframes.
Apart from aligning stakeholders, a wireframe is a great way to save time and ensure that you don’t get stuck in the land of should-have-been’s.
Helps define the users journey through your website
Wireframes help you create a better user experience (UX) because they provide an opportunity for you to get feedback on how users interact with your product — before it's fully developed.
You can show the wireframe to a potential customer, for instance, and ask them how they would use it to accomplish a certain task. If your potential customer consistently misses some of your navigation elements or has trouble finding key functions, you'll know you need to change your design before it's too late.
Helps define a hierarchy of information of each webpage
The purpose of a wireframe is to specify which information goes where. This allows you to control your users' experience with your site and influence how they're thinking about the information on it.
By controlling where elements are placed on a page, you can guide someone through a sequence of steps, whether that's signing up for a newsletter or buying something from an e-commerce site.
Helps to clarify web design & development requirements
Second, they help you make sure everyone involved in the project is on the same page. All stakeholders including the client, the designer, or the developer can be aligned on what the website will do.
Wireframes can help each member of the team understand what their final product will be without getting bogged down by implementation details that could slow down development later on.
Speeds up the overall web design process
A wireframe is a flowchart that represents a website’s structure. It’s an important part of designing a website because it helps you decide which information to place where and how users will get from one page to another.
A good wireframe will include all the essential elements for your website such as images, text, buttons, and links. But it won’t include any distracting details like colors or fonts that might slow down the design process.
Low time investment
A wireframe is a quick sketch that defines the look and feel of a digital product. They're easy to visualize, but they don't take a lot of time to make. This makes them an ideal way for people to collaborate on the design of their product.
Wireframes are the foundation of every great website development process. It’s as simple as that. In recent years, the role of wireframe has become increasingly important, as advances in web and graphic design have led to an overall improvement in project results, adding to the need for an even more effective planning stage.
Wireframing is about planning, and all successful websites have a good plan behind them, or at least a good idea of what their final product is meant to look like before it is even begun, so that they know how they want it to turn out and can then take steps towards making that dream into a reality.