Everything You Need To Know About Wireframing
A wireframe is the skeletal representation used for creating a website’s functionality and structure. In creating your wireframe, you can use paper and pen/pencil. Using a computer and wireframe web design tools can help hasten the process.
Wireframes are simple layouts. Compared to mockups, wireframes are just lines and points of intersection. There are no graphics, font styles, and colors that are normally found in mockups. With wireframes, you first create major components and then build upon them gradually by editing or rearranging parts.
The main purpose of creating wireframes is to provide designers and stakeholders visual guides. The first instance where everybody can also see the pages of a website is after the creation of the wireframe.
Tools for Wireframing
Microsoft Power Point is one of the easiest and most available tools for wireframing. However, it can be tedious to use during the later stages of designing. If you will use just this tool, you might have a hard time creating actions at the prototype stage.
There are free wireframe online tools that offer the ability to easily create click-through illustrations or vastly functional and rich prototypes. Usually, such tools come with data-driven interactions, math functions, animations, dynamic content, and conditional logic. You can have all these without writing a single line of code, which is great news for programming newbies and non-techie individuals.
Some tools also allow for easy sharing of diagrams and prototypes. With these tools, you just send a link and a password for others to view your project.
The Value of Wireframes
Wireframes serve many purposes, including:
- Connecting the site’s information structure to its visual elements – This is accomplished by the ability of a wireframe to show connectivity between pages.
- Determining expected functionality in the interface
- Prioritizing content by determining the amount of space that should be allocated to items
Keeping in mind the tips below can help you focus on the more important things in wireframing. At this point, your priority is to ensure excellent usability and functionality of your product.
- Sketch first – It can be a nice idea to use an online website wireframe tool right away, but others find it better to start with a sketch first using pencil and paper. See if the latter approach can yield better results for your projects.
- Keep your wireframes simple – Do not be distracted by thoughts of how the final website will look like. This can greatly make you lose focus on usability and functionality.
- Go with more useful sample data – Choose your sample data carefully. There is no need to populate your frames with data. Think about relevance. If the data is not relevant, dump it.
- Employ the grid system and layout boxes – With this approach, you will not have a hard time grouping and laying out components in a simpler and more structured way.
- Use reusable symbols and styles – Most wireframe software allow for creating and using these elements. This is one of the best ways to help you keep your wireframes consistent and easy to understand.