What is a Wireframe Design?

Simply stated, a Wireframe design is a blueprint for your product. A Wireframe is a useful tool and will make the process of creating and designing websites and apps much simpler. By presenting the product in its basic form, we are able to better focus on functionality and user interactivity.

Wireframe design also allows us to communicate more precisely with our investors or clients. Presenting them with a visual mockup will crystalize their perception of the product and will help them understand your vision for the final design.

 

What goes into a successful Wireframe design?

As we stated, a wireframe is a basic representation of design elements. However before we start to create our wireframe there are some questions that we should ask ourselves:

– Goal – What is the purpose of our product? What do we want to get out of the site/app? What do the users want to get?

– Scope – What features do we need to include in order to succeed in our goal?

– Structure – How will the features that we include fit together?

After carefully considering these questions we can move from an abstract idea into a more concrete product.

 

Wireframe – Practical application

Now that we are ready to put pen to paper, here are the things that should be included into our wireframe design:

– Content – What information will be displayed?

– Layout – How do will the different element be arranged?

– Functionality – How do these elements work together?

– Behavior – How do the elements interact with the user?

Some of the things that should not be included are:

– Graphic elements – Wireframes should not have any design elements, this will distract from the goal of the wireframes. This is why they should be made without the use of color, graphs, or typography.

– Filler text – Real text will provide transparency and help your client better understand the story you are trying to tell.

– Final Design – The purpose of the wireframe is only to display how the finished product will function, not how it will look.

 

Wireframe tools

There are many ways to create a wireframe and there are just as many tools available to aid you in the process. Each of these tools has their own levels of functionality, so it is important to try out as many of them as possible in order to produce the best results for your end user.

Here are some of the best tools:

– Pencil and Paper – Sometimes the simplest tools are the most useful. This method help keep in mind that this is not a final product but rather is an ongoing process.

– Balsamiq Mockups – Balsamiq is “intentionally rough and low fidelity” so that you can get as much feedback as possible. It’s simple to use and you can get started in no time.

– HTML – If you are able to use HTML you can set up some code and link it to your images. It is inexpensive and can also be very flexible.

– Wireframe.cc – Wireframe.cc is a simple and minimalistic tool that can be used for websites and apps. They also offer a 7-day trial.

 

Wireframing is a critical aspect of the design process. By creating a visual structure that you can refer back to you will be able to easily resolve any concerns that the client may have along the way. Also, by beginning with the end in mind, you will be able to increase usability and functionally. Last but not least, with an already made wireframe design you can be more confident when you actually open your favorite design program and get to work.

 

Jessica Miller
Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.
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