A good website is the front line of a business or brand. A user-friendly design can bring new customers, up your conversion rate, and give your users an overall satisfaction in their experience with your brand. A great website starts with a good wireframe, and here’s why.
What is a Wireframe?
A wireframe is a foundation on which your website design will be built. Wireframe tools can help you map out the important aspects of the site, including navigation, organization, page structure, and much more.
Wireframes can be high fidelity or low fidelity. A low fidelity wireframe can be as simple as a sketch on a piece of paper, whereas a high fidelity wireframe usually is digital and may even be responsive.
Wireframes Provide a Roadmap for UX
UX, or user experience, encompasses all of the user’s interactions with your brand, including the navigation and use of your website or app. A great website puts UX first, focusing on navigation and other important architecture before aesthetics.
A wireframe is a great roadmap for creating a good user experience. Here you can map out the architecture of the site, place elements and pages, and get feedback from clients and team members.
With a good wireframe in place, the aesthetic design of the project that comes later will flow seamlessly and accentuate the usability of your site or app. Without using wireframe, you’ll have trouble creating a good base for your UX. Always start with a draft!
Wireframes Increase Collaboration
For excellent web design, you want your team to synchronize and collaborate well. This starts with a wireframe. By providing your team with a roadmap to what the client or customer wants out of the site, you’re eliminating any confusion, and streamlining the design process.
Wireframes Help Catch Costly Errors
Imagine trying to navigate a website only to have one or more pages crash or redirect to error pages. This can be extremely frustrating and when it comes time to fix the issue, it may end up costing a lot of time and money.
With a wireframe as your rough draft, you’ll be able to identify early issues and address them before the final design has been established. This will not only make your team happy but also your clients. Once a design is finalized, it should not have any major errors in it.
Rewriting functionality in a website or application is much harder than in a wireframe. Sometimes it may even require the site or app to be shut down for a certain amount of time if the issue is impactful enough.
Double check your wireframes. Check each page of the design and always have someone else check your work as well. Don’t leave major issues for someone else or for later, always address any problems right away to avoid potentially costly error fixes later on.
You’ll Get to Know Your Clients and Customers Better
Knowing who you’re building for is an important part of creating the best possible product. Different clients or customers will have varying preferences when it comes to their website. By using a wireframe, you can include the client in the design process and get to know what they like and dislike.
Wireframes make including clients in the design process simple. You’re essentially presenting them with a rough draft from which they can suggest changes or feedback on certain aspects of the project.
A wireframe can help your clients focus as well. It can be exciting for clients to think about the end product and what the site may look like, but using a wireframe can help remind them that functionality should always come first.
Wireframes Make Handoff Easier
After the development phase, you’ll hand the site off to the designers who will integrate fonts, graphics, etc. to the site. All of those aesthetic aspects you weren’t supposed to worry about during the wireframing process.
Using a wireframe makes the handoff process much simpler, as you’re providing the design team with a working draft of how the site is organized. They’ll be able to utilize this draft to ensure the design of the site works well with its functionality.
Wireframes Help Promote Creativity
When you create a draft, sometimes you find that the idea you thought was going to look or feel great actually doesn’t. That’s why a good draft is so important to the design process. It gives you a chance to review those elements that don’t work well and think of creative solutions to address them.
Your team will also benefit from a creativity boost as you include them in discovering solutions to the elements that don’t work well. With increased collaboration and creativity, your final design will turn out looking better and functioning well.
The Best Websites Function Well
The best websites navigate well, load quickly, and provide the clients or customers exactly what they’re looking for. Whether you’re designing a blog or e-commerce site, the functionality is the most important part of any web design. Without it, you’re left with a very attractive website that doesn’t actually serve any purpose.
Use a wireframe to ensure that usability is the priority in your design process. Your clients will be happier and the team will find collaboration to be a simpler and more rewarding process. A good design process creates better products and therefore more loyal customers.