31 July 2020

by Spark Eighteen

What are Wireframes and their purpose in building a website

WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

Designing and developing a website is a fun process – but do you know what is the core starting point of this process? Enter, wireframes!

In this blog, we will be discussing one of the most important elements of the website building process – wireframes!

Remember the skeleton dangling inside the biology lab (or art room) of your school? If you went down the memory lane, you can hear your teacher pointing to it and saying “This is the internal framework of a human body.”

A wireframe is exactly that! It is the skeletal design of a website (just way less scary).

It visually describes a website using only simple shapes or wires – so does the name states.

As the sitemaps define the structure of the website, wireframes create the overall look of the page before jumping on to the actual designing process.

Think of it as a blueprint, but for a website!

Picture a wireframe keeping in mind its main features mentioned below:

  • It is a rough sketch of a website: A website wireframe is a rough sketch that can be revised or altered before creating the actual final design.
  • It can be drawn by hands or created digitally: A wireframe can either be drawn by hands or created digitally with tools such as InVision, Sketch, Lucid, etc. Digitally created wireframes have an upper-hand here since they can be easily shared with the team. On the other hand, you need to photograph or scan your hand-drawn wireframes to share them.
  • It is usually black & white: Wireframes are refrained to have different colours, font choices, logos, or any real design elements that take away the main focus from the site’s actual structure.

Is this something similar to what came to your mind?

wireframes

This is how a typical wireframe looks like!

So, whether you’re looking forward to creating a website (or even an app), consider a wireframe to be the foundation of it all.

Importance Of Wireframes

There are still many who plan to skip wireframing because they think it’s just an additional step that will only eat up a lot of time.

Trust us – don’t do that.

Saving time into skipping this process now can lead to working double that time later.

If you didn’t get what we just said, read out the following reasons that make wireframing one of the most important processes in website development:

  • Brings Clarity

You know the pain when you wring out all your creative juices to create your best design ever and all the client can comment on is the wrong placing of the buttons? That hurts.

With wireframes, your clients can review the overall layout of the design before you go ahead to add images, colours, or content. You’re basically letting your clients know where your focus is on the designing aspect – that too without adding any images or colours.

Simply taking out images and colours avoids all kinds of distractions and helps the client understand the design more clearly. Their main focus is now on the basic elements and other highlights that will go on the website.

  • Helps in working On Problems Early

Since it is a rough sketch, the feedback, and changes from your client’s end can be altered easily. They can also give you clarity on what colours or specific designs they are looking forward to keeping the given layout in mind.

It saves a lot of time for both parties since making changes on a wireframe is way easier than on a fully-designed mockup.

  • Helps Website Developers

Blatantly passing of instructions from the client and the project manager together may create a lot of confusion among web developers.

Wireframes help smoothen out the creative process for them so that they can focus on the main purpose and how effectively they can meet it.

  • Allocates Spacing

Spacing is one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated elements of a website layout. Users don’t like an all-cluttered website with hundreds and thousands of elements stuck together.

According to research conducted by Human Factors International, spacing increases comprehension by almost 20%.

Wireframe helps in creating the hierarchy of elements on the website and also giving the required space to make it look clean. By reducing the space constraints you’ll be able to save time when filling out the website with content.

  • Tests Navigation

Chances are, users may exit your website if they cannot easily navigate through it.

Wireframes allow you to test and create smooth navigation through the website.

When you outline the structure of your website, clients will know how users will find their way through it. If they feel that the navigation process is too complicated or there is something missing, they can easily ask to modify the design.

Now that you’ve understood the importance of a wireframe, let’s move on to help you create your first wireframe.

How To Create A Wireframe?

Step #1: Look For Inspirations

Look out for other similar wireframe products. Don’t know how to? Well, you can easily browse through websites like Dribble and Behance to see what other designers have done.

Step #2: Scribble Out!

It’s time you reach out to the pen and paper living inside your desk-counter and start drawing a rough layout of your website.

Fail to find a pen or paper?

Lucky for you since a wireframe can also be created digitally. There are various free tools available to create your wireframe. InVision & Lucid are some of them!

Step #3: Fill-In The Details

Once you get the foundation in place, it’s time to fill in the details! How? Think about the layout of the page, how much spacing it requires, and what information goes where. Fill it out with the call-to-actions and other user touchpoints!

How are you liking your first wireframe? We are as proud as you are!

Web development is a very complicated process that requires brainstorming from not only the designer’s end but also from the client’s.

Yes, you can make your clients part of the wireframing process too! Don’t understand how you can do that? Hold on, as we talk more about it further.

How your clients can work on wireframes?

You can be a master of designing great websites but your clients know their customers better than you do. So to create the best wireframe you need to ask your client certain questions so that you know that you are drawing the best customer experience for them.

Here are some of the questions you need answers to:

  • Who is their target audience:

A website is not just the representation of a business but also of its target audience. Keeping in mind the competitive nature of the market, the online audience is really fickle today.

Make sure you delve into your client’s user demographics. What is the lifestyle of their customers? How do they purchase? What are their online habits? The more you understand the end-user, you’ll be able to design a layout keeping them in mind.

  • The services or products which needs to be displayed:

How do they want to see their products to be displayed so as to grab people’s attention? Where do they want their customers to go to make a purchase? All of these things become essential to answer so you know where you need to work.

  • How do they describe their business:

A business’s essence makes customers visit their website. Go into in-depth details. See how customers describe their business or just ask them to describe it themselves by asking the following things:

i. What are the business’s key values?

ii. Where is your business now in the customer’s mind?

iii. What is the future vision of the company?

  • Ask the goals they want to achieve through their website:

Do they need visitors? Boost conversion rates? Get greater engagement via blogs or other content?

Create a clear line of communication between you and your client. It will help you as a designer to produce a wireframe that is accurate as possible to your needs and the client’s expectations.

Conclusion

A wireframe is a visual guide of creating the framework for a website.

The main goal for you as a designer is to create a wireframe that presents content more neatly and intuitively so you’re in alignment with your client’s business goals as well as their user’s expectations.

What are your thoughts on wireframes? Do you think of it as an essential step or just another redundant addition?

Any questions you want us to answer? Comment them below!

Spark Eighteen

Spark Eighteen is a brainchild of innovative young minds and a group of alarmingly out-of-the-box thinkers who happen to see the world of marketing from a new age perspective. With a proven expertise in the field of Brand consulting, Digital Marketing and Website Design and Development, our team of designers, developers, and creative heads work towards delivering maximum results, tailor-made to all your business needs.
Spark Eighteen

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