Introducing wireframing into the web design process can help to ensure a website is usable, functional, intuitive, and supportive of your goals. There are many benefits of a website wireframe beyond these overarching concepts to consider, as well.
What is a wireframe?
A wireframe is a two dimensional illustration of a web page’s interface. This helps UX designers plan and improve the functionality and other aspects of a website or mobile app.
There are main types of wireframes: low-fidelity and high-fidelity.
- Low-fidelity wireframes improve communication among team members. This type of wireframe is quick to create because it utilizes only simple images to represent mock content and white space.
- High-fidelity wireframes include a higher level of detail. Design teams use high-fidelity wireframes to take a more in-depth look at behavior and interactive elements. These wireframes can provide information about each item on a page.
In either case, wireframes usually do not include visual design including: graphics, colors, or stylistic features.
What’s the purpose of a wireframe?
In short, using a wireframe as a prototyping tool allows designers to create better user experiences and more functional websites.
Web designers can use a wireframe at the early stages of the design process. This helps to create a solid structure and a more usable final product. Wireframes allow designers to outline visual and text-based hierarchies to improve user interfaces. They can also plan interactions and transitions and organize the interface more clearly.
There are several significant reasons you need a website wireframe. Wireframes help teams to answer questions about a website:
Does the structure make sense?
The visual nature of a wireframe provides insight into the visual structure of a site from a high-level perspective. This can help designers organize a website’s content so that related information is grouped in a logical way. This way, visitors can find what they need where they expect to find it.
Do the features of the website work as intended?
A flashy website that doesn’t work well does little to build customer confidence or loyalty. Through the use of a wireframe, designers can determine if the features on a website enhance or detract from its purpose. Wireframes can even help design teams determine page layout as they prepare for ui design.
How usable is the website?
Website usability, or UX design, is paramount when it comes to good interface design. Wireframes can help designers develop a user interface that is sensical and intuitive. Being able to visualize where elements are on a page allows designers to understand how a visitor would use the features of a website.
Is the website navigable?
Designers can use a wireframe to spot problem pathways between pages and use that information to enhance the site’s navigation. Wireframes help determine how many pages are necessary or how many clicks it takes for a visitor to complete a task.
Does the website help drive sales and marketing goals?
A wireframe can have a significant impact on conversion points and marketing funnels. Wireframes can create a model that focuses on how fast visitors can get to the intended target, if the call to action is in the optimal spot, and other project goals.
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