The art of wireframing is one of finesse and understanding. Understand what now? Well, comprehension of the direction your web design project intends to take, as well as how everything will fit together to attract users within your target audience. Let me explain.
The Purpose of Wireframing
Wireframing has many a purpose. For starters, it's a great way to get an entire team collaborating on a project. First, a sketch will be created as the initial foundation; essentially being the raw idea of the project. Now using the sketch, a wireframe is created that will greatly speed up the mockup process; the latter coming to life once a wireframe is approved. One of the advantages of the wireframe, is the relatively low cost considering it uses basics shapes and will aid in defining all the site element for our end game.
As far as creating wireframes, the tool set is near endless - pencil, pen, computer, lego blocks, the list goes on. Now there are low level and high level wireframes. The former is more to get an idea out there and worked on. The latter is to deliver more concrete functionality and layout, user interactions and navigation intentions.
One factor is immediate to most when thinking of wireframes: Structure. Yes, structure for any project will greatly aid in its success. It will determine limits, conditions, element boundaries, and item placements. Now it is important to remember that structure should not hinder the creation process. We typically entertain a couple quick sketches beforehand. This is a great way to play with different layouts and looks, test out element flow ideas, and really understand what will and will not work before we proceed any further.
To sum up briefly, wireframing is a great tool for any project, especially web design. The benefits are as clear as the water at Pupu Springs in Golden Bay: it will help determine overall flow, create the ideal layout, and refine proper UX. The only cons are the time taken to create the wireframes, as well as the possibility that creation limitations may incur during the wireframing process. Truely, we do believe the benefits greatly outweigh the potential fallbacks. We will continue to use wireframes for our projects as the return value is terrific. Do you currently use wireframes? And if so, what tools do you use to create them?
Wireframing is part of our web design process when working with clients, this way you are informed throughout the whole creative process. Contact us for your next web design project.