What are wireframes?
Wireframes are fundamental blueprints or visual representations used in the early stages of designing a website, app, or any digital interface. When you are structuring or designing a digital platform (be it a website, mobile app, or web app), wireframing is one of the crucial steps that should be considered. You might think that Wireframing is an underrated activity; however, it can arrange and streamline the elements and content when it comes to designing. It can be stated that wireframe is the most important tool that helps in the development procedure.
In other words, it provides a visual representation of the content layout in the design that stipulates the placement of the elements within these content areas. By using this tool properly, it can easily place page features, such as header, footer, content, sidebars, and navigation. And most importantly, it can help to meet the exact requirement of clients and lessen any hassle and complication.
Wireframing is used in the pre-development process that ensures the basic structure of a page is perfect before visual design and adding content to a web page. This tool aims to entitle pages and components that will be implemented in an application and how it will interact with each other. It can be a great solution for both the designing team and stakeholders of a design project.
Using wireframes for development:
As we mentioned above that wireframes can be used for development, it is the most useful at the beginning before finalizing the products.
Take an example of a product page, with wireframes, we can outline different layouts for a product page, conduct a comparison, and then narrow them down to a few final layout designs based on the visual flow. So, this tool helps in visualizing the construction of an idea.
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When we talk about different sorts of wireframes for development, it can be categorized into 2 types such as Low-Fidelity Wireframes or Lo-Fi (a rough paper sketch that includes basic content and visuals)and High-fidelity Wireframes, also known as Hi-Fi ( detailed structure). However, Lo-fi is easier and faster than Hi-Fi.
There are different sorts of tools included in wireframes currently such as Mockplus, Figma, Invision, Adobe XD, UXPin, Axure, Moqups, etc. You can choose one of the best tools for designing wireframes and developing simple prototypes.
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How can wireframe help to streamline design & development?
Enhances the scope of work:
As it is an ideal visual representative tool, wireframe enables the UX UI designers to swiftly visualize the products and exhibit it to the entire team for any required revisions. It can help the designing team ensure all the elements are there, how they will be on each screen, and their interaction process. It bridges the gap between an initial step and the final products.
Streamline all the team members:
Wireframe enables the UX UI designers to check the entire process, analyze designs of a product, deliver potential feedback and suggestions before stepping into the next stages to optimize the best output. It saves time and effort.
Offer a demo version of products:
In the earlier point, we discussed the feedback and suggestions from developers and clients. No doubt, this is a crucial contributor to the entire design procedure. With the help of precise wireframe, this process can be easier and smoother for the team. You can be more agile and deal with issues as they arise.
In a nutshell, wireframes help the UX designers to get valuable feedback from potential users and saves time by evading the development of complicated interactive prototypes.
Best practices to be followed for creating wireframes
Using design and elements:
You should go with a simple design and add basic components to your wireframes. This can help everyone understand accurately and save time. Also, add colors to your wireframes carefully and avoid rich colors, only using them to highlight specific components.
You should always be consistent with your designs on all your wireframes and try to avoid unnecessary confusion.
Unique content creation:
Many times the lack of real content on the wireframes can be extremely confusing to the viewer. The UI/UX designers can use the draft content instead that will help to make the right decisions and provide the best design.
Use of Low or Hi-fi structure:
It strictly depends on the requirement of your project’s design. You can use either low-fidelity wireframes or high-fidelity wireframes accordingly. However, do no go with extra work if it is unnecessary at that point.
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Outspread wireframes to prototypes:
In some cases, UX/UI designers may feel that using wireframes is not sufficient for demonstrating the communication of complex and unusual interfaces. You can use interactive prototypes instead. When it comes to the wireframes for development, it is usually based on black and white diagrams that also include numerous UI elements and notes upon them.
How helpful is Wireframing for UX designers?
- Clear visualization- As the designing team can visualize the process well; they can concrete the ideas without distraction. You can effectively send your opinion to the entire team regarding the product’s benefits.
- Elucidate client’s interface- The UX/UI designers perfectly understand technical jargon and other features. What about the clients? This is where Wireframing for UX helps to elucidate it. It helps clients easily comprehend different features and their functionality on a page. How these features will be implemented in a webpage and where they will appear, clients can easily know all these things.
- Improve usability- As it is yet another important part of the design, wireframes help to improve usability in showcasing page layouts at their core. Designers and developers can accurately focus on what’s on the screen ensuring ease of use, conversion paths, the naming of links, navigation placement, and feature placement are proper.
- Enhance navigation- The navigation of all the features of the screen can be simplified by using wireframes. You won’t be confused at any stage of it and better understand whether the complete navigational arrangement is instinctive, inexplicable, or somewhere in between.
- Save time- With the help of using wireframes, you can be calculated regarding your design as you have a blueprint in your mind. You can evade misconceptions and misunderstandings. The UX UI design team, developing team, and clients will easily get the function of the interface.
- Effective content creation- Most importantly the content section of your web pages ought to be more clear, crisp, readable, and understandable. In that case, wireframes provide an overview of the contents. It helps to increase the content’s readability and persuasiveness.
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