Would you ever start decorating a house out of thin air, when you do not even have a blueprint ready? No sane person would waste time and resources planning the interior of a house when it doesn’t even have a structure yet. Wireframes serve the same purpose in a UI/UX design process as a blueprint serves in making a house.
It is a structure of an app or website that is created without any flair of colors, images or any styled graphics to understand the functionality and usability of the digital product in making. Once site mapping is done, creating wireframes is the next crucial step of UI/UX design process during web or app development. While it is more of a task designated to the designers only, however, the clarity wireframes bring to the overall development process is undeniable. Following are some key advantages of wireframes:
Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of creating wireframes is that it does not let you get swayed in excitement and helps in keeping your eye on the ball. By creating a visual display of the site architecture, it helps you in drawing your focus on creating designs that elevate usability to the maximum. Vague ideas can be streamlined and you can instantly get a picture of how it will pan out for the end-users.
Set Right Expectations
Another critical advantage that wireframes bring to the table is setting the right expectations for your client and yourself. They help to take the clients and other stakeholders through the structure of designs without any images or colors to distract them. It helps paint a visual of what the actual product will look like and incorporates any feedback there and then.
Wireframes help in identifying anything that does not naturally belong to the user journeys and eliminate hiccups. With the help of wireframes, you can avoid any unpleasant surprises timely before a lot of time and effort has already been put into it. It is easier to incorporate client’s feedback and uncover any flaws to implement changes early in the UI design process.
Clarification of all Features
When brainstorming for the best functionality of your product, most information gets lost to jargon and technical terminology which your client cannot fully comprehend. Having a visual representation of the jargon through wireframes eliminates the chances of ignorance or miscommunication between the client and the UI/UX company. It distinctly clarifies all features, their use, and how it will collectively help enhance the user experience.
Ensures Good User Experience
Since the foremost advantage of creating wireframes is pushing usability to the front, as a consequence your user experience gets elevated automatically. Once you objectively analyze all conversion paths, features, and navigation placement without any imagery there to distract, you can devise a clean, simple user-friendly design.
Tests Site Navigation
Site navigation plays a pivotal role in determining engaging user experience. With wireframes, you can test the site navigation and rectify any blockers or lags which can, later on, hamper the user experience. If some feature is wrongly placed or the overall process is over complicated then it can easily be amended elevating your UI/UX design.
Wireframes can reveal space constraints by designing the hierarchy of elements. This allows you to analyze how much content can you exactly fit without having to fight with your content writer later on. They also help in removing unnecessary details and prioritize the content your users absolutely need to see and which content is unimportant.
With your content and design sorted, you can have a fair idea of how to scale your site whenever it is ready to handle growth. You can pre-plan how to add more content, pages, or elements as needed with time without affecting the existing architecture.
Saves Your Time
Last but not the least, this activity is a great time saver for all resources and stakeholders involved. While initially, you may think otherwise, given the amount of time involved in recreating wireframes and adjusting changes, it can save significant time once actual design and development are done. Any changes made then can actually cost you more time and money. You end up creating more calculated designs and avoid tedious changes later on.
Tips for Creating Wireframes
These are some benefits of creating wireframes but they can only help you if you make them right in the first place! Here are some tips to get you started.
- Sticking to specific colors The whole idea of wireframes is to have a simple and plain structure devoid of any pomp and show. This is why you should stick to some very basic colors when sketching them. UI/UX design experts suggest sticking to white, black, blue, and grey when creating wireframes.
- Use an Illustrator While some people use hand-drawn wireframes, now there are a variety of tools available that can help you in creating crisp sketches in a shorter amount of time.
- Avoid Graphics Remember, the wireframes are not a test of your creativity but an important step to understanding your clients’ needs better. Steer clear of putting additional graphical elements.
- Separate Wireframes for Screens When creating a responsive product or site, make sure you design wireframes for each screen size separately as your requirements of content, and the hierarchy of elements will vary for each screen.
That’s about it. Here’s hoping you won’t be skipping getting wireframes made when going for web or app development. Investing time and resources in creating good wireframes will go a long way in your UI/UX design process and overall development process by creating highly functional and user-friendly designs.
Origami Studios specializes in creating wireframes and prototypes for clients. Hit us up if you need experienced professionals handling your product.