A wireframe is a simple and effective tool that can help give your development team and client a clear idea of what your software or website will look like. It’s essential in information architecture and solidifying the final design. Here are ten reasons you should always start with a wireframe in any design process.
1] A Wireframe Unites The Development Team
Organizing a development team and maximizing cooperation can be a challenge. Each team member has their own style, design process, and thoughts on everything from organization to coding. A wireframe helps get everyone on the same page.
With a wireframe, you can create a rough visual of how the software or website should be laid out. Your information architecture is clear and everything is open to feedback. This is the most important aspect of a good wireframe; it adjusts the final design via the feedback of your clients and development team.
2] Wireframing Saves Time, and Therefore Money
When you use wireframe tools, you’re setting a foundation for a streamlined and efficient development process. When your team managers, developers, and clients are all unified in the core ideas of the design, you save time with fewer revisions.
Revisions can be costly. Essentially you need to pay your developers to redo a certain aspect of the project which they’ve already completed. Using a wireframe tool ensures that everyone knows what’s expected from the beginning.
3] It Identifies Usability Issues
By viewing your development project objectively via a wireframe tool, you can look at the usability (or lack thereof) that the project provides for its users. A website or any software can be extremely well designed as far as aesthetics, but if its usability is lacking, the users will become frustrated and disinterested.
4] Streamlining Information Architecture
The usability of your software depends largely on information architecture. The arrangement of key components aids users in finding what they’re looking for quickly. We’ve all had an experience with a website or an app that we couldn’t seem to navigate. It becomes frustrating and unproductive to fumble with unfriendly designs.
A wireframe tool allows your team to map information architecture early in the development process, thus saving you time and further revision later on in the process.
5] Wireframe Gives You The First Visual Of The Project
When you’re developing a website or software, a preview is absolutely necessary. You’ll want to see the project for yourself, and your client may ask for an update or a roadmap of the project. By having a visual representation early on, you can see the aesthetics and potential usability of the project.
6] Helps Create An Informational Hierarchy
During the development process, there can sometimes be a focus on aesthetics rather than design. Of course, you want your software or website to be attractive, but its functionality should be the team’s first concern.
Wireframing emphasizes functionality early in the design process, helping your development team to identify page elements in a hierarchical order, allowing for better design and attention on more important functions when necessary.
7] Helps Identify and Focus on CTA’s
A website or software should have a clear call to action, or CTA. “What do I want my users to get from this?” should be a frequent question in your development process. Using a wireframe can help you focus on key elements of a website, including your CTA.
A well placed CTA on a website can help boost conversions and generate website traffic. This is arguably the most important aspect of any website and should be considered an essential early in the development process.
8] It Provides A Skeleton To Build On Later
Many wireframe tools allow the user to finish a design directly from the wireframe file. You can generate the basic layout of your design, get approval from the client and unify your team, and get right to the fine details of the project.
9] Wireframe Makes The Design Process Interactive
Interactive design means real-time changes can be applied to the project before the aesthetic designs are in place. Navigating through mountains of design code to redo or fix a preliminary design issue can be frustrating and time-consuming, making an interactive design process priceless.
An interactive design process also keeps the client updated and certain of how the project will function upon completion. By giving the client an idea of what they’re paying for, you’ll boost their confidence and trust in the project and your team.
10] Allows For Experimentation and New Ideas
Once you begin to lay out the basic functionality of your development project, you may find that doing so generates new ideas on content or key elements.
Creativity is what makes for excellent design, and having a visual blueprint of the project is an excellent way to inspire new ideas and revisions before the final design is applied.
You may find that certain elements of the project don’t fit where you thought they would, or are unnecessarily entirely. This gives the development team an opportunity to create the best design possible, to the advantage of the client and your team’s reputation.
Wireframe Is Simple But Effective
The concept of wire-framing is a simple one, but the process can be extremely effective at creating sustainable websites or software. By unifying the team, streamlining elements, and focusing on usability, you can be sure that your project will achieve maximum effectiveness in a timely manner.