Wireframe tools make the development process more efficient while providing a platform for both clients and team members alike to draw ideas, make changes, and see updates from. Wireframing tools are an absolute must for any professional development team and using them to help create your perfect website is essential to the design process. If you’ve never used a wireframe, here’s how these amazing tools can help you build a website.
Start with a Basic Sketch
While a simple sketch of what your site may look like is technically considered a low-fidelity wireframe, you can use that sketch to give yourself a basic idea of the site’s layout before you start creating a wireframe in your chosen wireframing software. This will help guide you as you lay out pages and navigation tools for your website, creating a more study framework for the site.
Remember that the best websites navigate with ease, and don’t contain confusing or unnecessary controls. While an idea may seem great in your head, putting it on paper can help reveal some fatal flaws even before you begin mapping it in the software.
Interacting with Clients
If your client isn’t included in your development process, you’re making a grave mistake. You should consider your client to be an integral part of your team in a way. The client knows exactly what they want from the website, how it should navigate, etc. Not referring to them throughout the development process just means you’re shooting in the dark and likely to miss the mark.
Wireframes are excellent tools for keeping clients involved. They’ll show the client how the website will be laid out, and from there, you can discuss with your client any edits they’d like to see before the final prototype.
Involving your client in the design process also says something about you and your team: that you care for your clients. That their input is not only valuable to you but is vital to the development process. This can go a long way in fostering the trust you want with your clients. The greater the level of trust you create, the more likely they are to not only use your services again in the future but also recommend them to friends and colleagues.
Making Transitions Easier
Better designs start with better planning. To have a truly effective design, you need to have a blueprint to work from. If you’re moving from development to prototyping, not having a good blueprint to work from can have some serious implications, and perhaps even set the entire project back.
Transitions in development are always easier when the team handing off the project has done a solid job in the planning phase. Good planning shows in the entirety of the project’s timeline, from conception to final edits. Think of wireframe tools for designers as development blueprints. No structure is built without a blueprint, and the same should be true for any website or software.
How frustrating is it to reach the prototyping phase and identify a fatal error halfway through? If this has ever occurred during your design process, you know exactly how detrimental this can be to the project. Deadlines are missed, fingers are pointed, and everyone is unhappy. Let’s avoid this by using a wireframe.
Wireframing will help identify errors as they come, which means smoother transitions and less frustration among the team. Equally, your client will be grateful when you deliver a website free of errors, as fixing them can be costly on both ends. Time is money, so the more time you spend after the project is complete fixing errors, the more money you’re losing on that project.
Website Architecture First
It’s often the bane of designers to put aesthetics before actual architecture. It can be incredibly exciting to add visual elements such as graphics and fonts to the website, as these are what the users will see when they visit the site, but you must remember that architecture comes first in design.
This is because it’s much harder to rework architecture once the graphics and other visual elements are in place, and these things can get in the way of the design process. Wireframes are usually grayscale, contain no graphics, and only the bare minimum of representative visual elements. The point of the wireframe is to map out functionality, not aesthetics.
Once you’ve mapped out how your website will function, you can then hand it off to be spruced up by graphic designers. Keep the design steps in this order, and you’ll have beautiful, fully-functional websites every time you design.
Quality is Your Greatest Asset
When it comes to design, quality is your number one asset. Quality designs mean more business, loyal clients, and a reputation that you can be proud of. As a developer, creating quality websites means mapping them out first with a wireframe.
Don’t leave your designs to chance. Having a blueprint has far too many advantages to just brush aside, and with modern wireframing tools, the process is easier than ever. In fact, many wireframe tools are complete with prototyping tools as well, so you can perform the entire development process in one program.
Not using a wireframe for your development projects can mean errors, reworks, and even lost time and money. Use a wireframe to improve customer relations, create better designs, and ensure that you’re not performing costly reworks once the project has been completed.