June 7, 2016
Just like a house needs a blueprint before you even begin building, a website needs a wireframe. A wireframe is a low-fidelity “blueprint” detailing the foundation and the basic architecture of your site. Wireframes are not part of the design process of the website, but rather, part of the planning and strategy. They serve as a general guide for page design and are comprised of simple shapes, lines, boxes, copy and call outs (most of the time they are black and white).
Before moving into design, wireframing will promote a deeper thinking about the site architecture, functionalities, user experience, content flow and page elements. Overall, here are seven reasons why wireframing is essential.
1. Visually maps out the site architecture
By taking the site map and turning the key pages into wireframes, this will kick off the project and build the foundation. Wireframes ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the overall architecture of a website and seamlessly transitions the strategy and structure of the site to the web designers.
2. Explores multiple layouts and page options
There are always multiple ways to accomplish any task. The same goes for website development. By exploring multiple low-fidelity website layouts and page options, you’ll ensure the best ideas and layouts rise to the top.
3. Clarifies website features before they are built
It’s important to have a website that not only looks good, but functions well. Wireframes drive discussion about the scope and functionalities of website pages and are even more important in dealing with complex website pages. It’s beneficial, and more cost effective, to have functionality discussions before moving into design and development.
4. Highlights the user experience
A positive user experience is really important. How many times have you gotten to a website with a frustrating user experience and you’ve abandoned the site? Wireframing highlights the user experience and user flow by forcing website strategists to focus on the easy of use, conversion paths, call-to-action placements, content organization and more.
5. Focuses on the content
Wireframes force us to pay more attention to the content of a website, rather than jumping right into jazzy design. What information will the website offer customers? What content formats will we use (video, blog posts, infographics, etc.)?
6. Determines website responsiveness
It’s easy to focus on the desktop design of a website, but the reality is many people use their cell phones and tablets to access websites on-the-go. Wireframes help determine what the website look like in responsive design (i.e. on a tablet or cell phone). Different usability and design considerations come into play as screen sizes increase and decrease.
7. Saves time on the entire project
Wireframes help work out the kinks from the beginning. Thus, saving time and money by avoiding costly design and functionality errors.
Need help will your website development? Contact the experts at Lessing-Flynn!