Website creation is a highly technical process that must be carefully planned and implemented by a web designer and web developer. For professional web designers, a great web design starts with wireframes. A wireframe refers to a sketch-like website layout in black and white. A wireframe is like a blueprint outlining the placement and sizes of web page elements, navigation, conversion areas, and site features. When it comes to wireframing a website, it doesn’t include typography, color choices, or any design element. Instead, wireframing’s main goal is to focus on the website’s structure, usually carried out in the early stages of web design. But, why are wireframes important? Why can’t novice designers or professionals skip wireframing and proceed with the actual web designing process straight away? Find out the importance of wireframes for a website built by reading below. Build A Website’s Architecture Wireframing involves planning and building a website’s architectural blueprint that goes hand-in-hand with prototyping. Wireframes connect the website’s architecture, defining consistent ways to display a particular type of information on the website’s user interface (UI), and determining the web element’s intended functionality. After wireframing, the web designer adds web design elements (colours, fonts, logo, etc.), and then performs rapid prototyping. Check over here to learn more about rapid prototyping. Wireframing and prototyping will guide the web designer in the next steps until a web design is completed and ready for the development stage. Here are the important points to keep in mind when building wireframes to build a website’s architecture:
Clarity: Wireframes answer the critical questions of what a web page is and what users can do on the web page to satisfy their needs. A wireframe is a helpful guide for visualizing the web page’s layout and ensuring that the most important questions are answered.
Confidence: Clear and easy-to-use website tools increase user confidence in the brand. When a web page has boxes or buttons in unexpected areas, user confidence diminishes. Wireframing makes a website predictable, consistent, and easy to navigate by placing web elements in intuitive positions.
Simple: Wireframing doesn’t involve too much information, as well as programming or coding. It’s a basic process or black and white sketching to avoid confusion and delays in the initial stages of web design.
Lay Groundwork For A Great UX And UI Design User experience (UX) pertains to the overall response or encounter an online user has when using a website on any device. On the other hand, the user interface (UI) pertains to the actual web page elements that a website has, and which has something to do with the usability and friendliness of web features. Wireframes lay the groundwork for UX and UI design. However, UX design is more involved in wireframing because UI design (focusing on aesthetics) comes later. For example, a UX designer will show through wireframes the paths between pages and areas where the navigation tools (search box, scroll bars) will be located. By determining the right size and placement of the navigation tools, users will be able to browse and navigate the web page without hassle. In general, wireframing will answer the following UX design questions:
Is the search box big enough to be seen on the page?
Where should menu options be located on the website?
Can visitors easily scroll the page up and down?
Can online users easily see the contact information on the screen?
Where should the shopping cart be located on the page for easy checkout?
Where should images and videos be positioned on the web page?
Where are the best areas for ad placements?
How are call-to-actions (CTAs) and other buttons positioned on the web page?
Do users experience navigational problems or trouble finding relevant information on the page?
Map Out User Flow For Self-Help Online users try to search for answers over the Internet so they don’t have to call the company every time they have concerns. So, online visitors expect that the company’s website will provide the basic information they need. A poorly designed website has a confusing menu placement, poor navigation, and poor user flow. You’ll often hear users complaining about the products’ odd locations, filters, search box, back to previous page button, and hard-to-locate sitemap. Fortunately, wireframes answer these problems. Early on in the web design process, wireframes play a crucial role in mapping out user flow. Therefore, wireframing addresses potential navigational issues for a smooth user experience. Also, it promotes user independence because they’re not confused or overwhelmed with the website elements set in place. Check these general tips when creating wireframes for a better user flow:
Don’t Mind The Aesthetics: Don’t think about aesthetics (like colors) during wireframing because this step involves pure outlining of features and formats.
Create Functional Blocks: Focus on determining the functional blocks forming your design’s skeleton. Add details in the way a user naturally processes a screen, from left-to-right and top-to-bottom, like the pages of a book.
Outline: Wireframing should outline content organization, the most prominent placement for key information, and what users should expect to see on the web page.
Keep Online Visitors Happy The importance of wireframes all boils down to their core purpose—making online visitors happy by implementing the concept of emotional design. Because wireframing defines web elements’ perfect placements and maps out user flow, online users will have a better experience using a website, keeping them coming back. Hence, website owners also gain maximum benefits, such as higher traffic, leads, and sales, as well as loyal customers. Conclusion Wireframes are important for website creation because of many reasons. They outline the basic structure and functionality of a website. Wireframes lay the groundwork for UX and UI design for a smooth user experience. Also, with wireframing, user flow is mapped out so online visitors can navigate the website without encountering issues. More people will be attracted to a well-designed website created with the help of wireframing. Both wireframing and prototyping are essential steps to web designing to ensure online users will be self-sufficient, satisfied, and happy using the website. In turn, it will increase your return on investment (ROI).