You’d never build a house without a foundation. So why design a website, or application, without a wireframe?
A wireframe acts as a visual representation, or blueprint, for apps and websites. While the wireframe can range from simple to elaborate, its main purpose is to assist the design team, and the client, in establishing a cohesive layout. You’ll find that the focus is mostly on content and layout than it is on aesthetics! Wireframing helps to balance unique perspectives from the clients, designers, writers and marketers in a cohesive manner. By outlining a unified vision of the desired outcome, each team member will have a clear understanding of what they can bring to the project.
The wireframing process enables designers, marketers, programmers and even clients to get a sense of a website’s layout before they move to the design and programming stages. This means that, if we need to rethink on aspect of the site or make an edit, we avoid spending time, and budget, on minor details, since its format allows us to catch mistakes quickly and early in the development phase.
Because of its strategic capabilities, the wireframe plays a significant role in creating a functional website. Understanding what a wireframe is, and its benefits, can help not only the designers, but also the clients, craft original and thoughtful websites.
The Benefits of Using a Wireframe
Wireframe design can help you establish greater focus during the early stages of the development phase. And, while some projects may seem more straightforward than others, wireframing is NOT a step that you should miss, since it will serve as an outline for the structure of the website.
Here’s why we use wireframes for all of our website redesign projects:
- They Give Your Team a Visual
Before your website is your website, it exists as a fantasy in your head and as a new project in our minds. Although we have a solid understanding of your brand, goals, and preferences, everyone, from your management team to our programming department, will have a different idea of how your website will look. And, while we’re all for creative differences, it’s essential that everyone involved in the redesign progresses with a uniform vision. We want to ensure that each component of the project is moving toward the same ideal.
The wireframe, then, helps to plot out where different components will be, how many drop-down menus you need, and which pages will be given priority. Once we’ve created the wireframe, it’s distributed amongst our team for internal review, and then on to our clients for final approval. That way, each of us has access to the same visual and can get a sense of how the final website will be laid out.
- Wireframes Encourage Client Collaboration
As a web design agency, it’s our job to not only offer our expertise, but also ask for your feedback. As experts in their industry, we recognize how critical on-going collaboration is to every website redesign. The wireframe, then, acts as an excellent tool for gaining insight on industry and consumer related trends that are crucial to the final design.
The wireframing process lets clients provide their honest feedback on the layout well before the design stage is finalized, which means your team can incorporate client requests earlier in the process. Of course, client feedback is totally normal, but the wireframe makes it more manageable for all parties.
- A Wireframe Will Save Time and Money
Remember when we talked about how wireframes make is easier to incorporate client feedback? Well, that also helps you and your clients save time and money, too. Think about it: If you approach a redesign using a wireframe, you’re streamlining each phase of your design process to keep the ball rolling. By addressing key aspects of layout and usability early on, you’re not only saving your clients from making additional requests, but also allowing your team to make changes at a manageable rate.
Plus, you’re less likely to make development errors when you have mapped out the process, and worked out the specifics, well before the design and programming phases.
- Puts Your Users First
Of course, having a sexy website is something every business owner dreams about. But, what about the chemistry that’s created between user and interface? We believe that establishing a user’s-first website is key to any company’s success. In fact, if a user finds your site difficult to navigate, or slow to load, they probably won’t care what your site looks like: they’ll only remember what went wrong. Crafting a targeted user experience before incorporating visual components will make you stand out. Perfecting the wireframe’s layout sets the tone for your website’s functionality and relevance.
How to Create a Great Wireframe
You can’t use any old wireframe and cross your fingers: In order to create an exceptional user experience, you need to start with a great wireframe. And how do you build a great wireframe? Get in touch with an expert!
Our team creates custom wireframes that support specialized web development. If you’re curious about our process, connect with Symetric today and tell us more your company’s goals, vision and your customer’s needs. Discover what a customized approach can do for your website!