Project development often tends to be full of uncertainties and hardships especially at early stages. For freshman companies and startups it might be difficult to orient themselves in a new sphere. Therefore it is very important to rely on an experienced technical partner who can lead and consult you throughout the whole development process.
We always recommend starting any project from a consultation because this is the best way to сlear up all specific details and avoid further difficulties and mistakes. Of course, you might already have a great idea of a website or an app to implement and a kind of a sketch or plan that can be very helpful, but as a matter of our practical experience there is a world of difference between the product you imagine in your head and the one which is eventually created.
No one can embody exactly what you intend just on the spot. Development process is a very complicated procedure which requires thorough preparation including collection of analytical data and conducting of research. But even this is not enough to proceed straight to design and development. Wireframing is a very important stage which helps to get your great idea ready for further development process.
What is a Wireframe?
Wireframes represent a skeleton structure of a future website, system or any other digital product. They show in detail which information, content and control elements should be displayed on each page of the interface of any system. Wireframes create logical interactions with the interface as well as bolster the enhancement of user experience. Also, in frameworks, accents have already been developed for various interface elements: buttons, images, titles, texts, etc.
Wireframe design is quite simple in style and is mainly created in grayscale: black, white, different shades of gray are typical (additionally blue shades can be used). It is recommended to avoid colors in order to help customers or developers concentrate on the functionality and user experience rather than be distracted by bright colors, fonts and attractive elements of a digital product. For many customers wireframes might look like a meaningless set of gray blocks. But there is an explanation: wireframes must be as simple as possible and present just the basic structure but also leave the space for possible future ideas. You should always keep in mind that wireframes are page schemes but not the final design of the system.
Importance of Wireframing
Creation of wireframes is one of the first steps in the development of interfaces for websites and mobile applications and one of the most important stages, which affect the future of your digital product. The importance of wireframing for a website or a mobile app should not be underestimated. Can you imagine building your own house without a preliminary plan and design project? Perhaps, that is a bad and unwise decision. The same is for your digital product. If you want it to look just like you have envisioned and work properly, wireframes will be extremely helpful.
Meanwhile ill-considered user experience might be the reason why people don’t even start using it. This is especially important when developing mobile applications, but should also be considered when creating web applications. Convenient arrangement of buttons, checkboxes and other elements is of great importance, as they should provide easy and convenient navigation within the program.
Wireframes must identify the following issues:
- Basic content groups: what is included
- Information structure: where is it presented
- Description of interaction between the user and the interface and its approximate visualization: how is it going to look like
Wireframes are generally intended for the following purposes:
- specification of the task for a designer. While presenting the layout a designer should remember all the elements mentioned in the wireframes as well as consider all the highlighted key points.
- specification of the task for developers. The team should rely on the wireframes while creating the functional prototype of the system. ( the system is already working but the design is not “fixed” to it yet).
- demonstration to customers and potential users. The system can be presented to the stakeholders as early as in a few weeks after the start of work on the project.
- Wireframes include the description of the work scope for all specialists engaged in the process: developers, designers, managers, customers - they all need a well-considered detailed wireframe.
In order to create good wireframes it is necessary to follow particular steps. For websites you need to prepare a list of all pages in advance not to miss anything in the logics. Besides, very often wireframes are created separately for various devices such as mobile phones, tablets or desktops.
For mobile apps the first step is to think over all possible test cases with user stories. Each test case has to correspond to a separate screen.
It is no wonder that approaches to building of wireframes can vary as well as the set of tools used for their creation. Wireframes differ in their exclusive and sophisticated features and correspond to personal requirements and preferences. Designers at LinkUp Studio use a particular set of tools and follow their own techniques that have proven to be efficient and successful.
What Are the Advantages of Wireframing?
If you still think that wireframes are not really important we have a number of reasons why it is worth starting your project with building wireframes:
- Wireframing helps to make your content more effective and readable. This is because while designing a wireframe, you will gain experience with different fonts, bullet points and represent your content in the best way for the users.
- Wireframing brings clarity to the project and makes the development process more transparent from the very beginning. The client takes an active part in discussions with the team, which makes it easier to define the project goals and establish the primary focuses.
- Wireframing improves communication between the team. Wireframes are created by a designer with constant assistance from a customer and developers. In their turn due to wireframes the developers get a clear picture of the elements that they will need to code. That makes the process complete and precise.
- Wireframes can also help deliver the core message of your website more effectively and gather feedback at an early stage. Additionally, wireframes for apps are the best way to test the UI and see if there are any navigation-related changes.
- It is time-and cost-effective to visualize your idea preliminarily in order to get the initial feedback from potential users or attract investments. Wireframes, as well as mockups are visual representations and thus are much better than a text description.
- Wireframes can help to detect different problems at the early stages and prepare a project for further design creation and coding. This helps to reduce the total time and budget necessary for the development and minimize the risks of a fail of the final product.
No less important is the fact that being involved in a project from the very beginning allows all members of the process to understand the essential details of it and deliver exactly what is expected and aimed.
So if you are about to start a new project make sure to take the advantage of all the benefits that wireframing can bring. It’s not a secret that initial steps are the most important in development and they need special attention. Remember: a good start leads you to a successful ending!
If you have an idea to discuss or just want to learn more about our processes сontact us to learn more about our processes and discuss your idea.