What is wireframing?
Wireframing is a vital step in developing a website, but not everyone chooses to use it. Wireframing is essentially drawing out the blueprints of the website, so that all the stakeholders can have an understanding of what the website will look like.
Savings in Time and money
Wireframing is a time saver. Mostly because it allows a designer to quickly and easily lay out the website, so without investing too much time, fundamental changes can be made just by dragging elements around the page. This means that if the client does not like the look of the title, or where the images are, or the way one link leads to another, it will literally take only seconds to move the elements around or change the navigation.
Without wireframing, it is possible to spend a couple of weeks with a designer who goes crazy with an idea and takes the site down a certain path but not the direction the client wanted. Wireframing alleviates this kind of delay and allows for everyone to be on the same page before moving on.
It can move the coding part of the development on more quickly:
Wireframing means that the development side (coding) of the website can start earlier as well, because the developers do not have to wait for a finished design to start putting some muscles on the skeleton. They will, however, have to wait for the designer to make it look pretty. But once the wireframes are agreed upon it gives the designers and the coders a clear idea of how to get started
Allows for easy visualization
Often times when a website is being built for a client I find that it is the most important part of the process. Clients want to be able to visualize their website / application and wireframing is a great way for them to view their product quickly and have assurance that progress is being made. For the client to be able to visualize the site and be happy with the structure at such an early point issignificant because it gives ownership of the product at the earliest possible moment.
Some people also use wireframing to start their end-user testing. Obviously, the end user can not test the functionality of the site at this point, but they can test the flow of the content and the general navigational feel. Most wireframing software allows live links to be created so that the flow of content can be experienced in real time.
If you are not using wireframing for your sites, the chances are you are wasting your time, your client’s time and making life harder for yourself in the long run. Try some wireframing for your next project and once you get into the swing of using it, you will be glad that you did!
Other wireframe references:
iplotz - this is the one I use and love it
mockflow – this is available to use online and offline
Omnigraffle – software and ipad app.
Images used from here
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