Wireframing: An excellent approach to web design

by Inspiredology

on May 16, 2011

in UI Design

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It is well known that small things do make a lot of difference and in context of designing a website, creating a Wireframe first does the same.

It is one simple step which if undertaken before plunging into the complex design elements, presents a clear picture to designers and developers who can then plan a site’s development. Along with this, there are several other potential advantages of Wireframing a design which will be discussed later on in this article.

What is a Website Wireframe?

A wireframe is a basic visual structure which illustrates the placement of various elements of a web page. In other words it is an outline of a web page layout which assists the process of website design and development. Wireframes can be created using various available tools/software or can be a rough sketch, the purpose of which is to lead to the creation of an effective website.

Why Wireframe a web design?

Acts as a Working Model

A Wireframe provides the base which helps the designers to commence the designing process and decide as to which elements are needed and where they should be placed, that is, their positioning.

Helps identify the problem areas

With the help of a wireframe it becomes easy to point out those areas that may create difficulties at a later stage. Such issues, if identified can be rectified at the very beginning and required modifications can be done to the design without any delay.

Save Time

Wireframes are easy to create and can be altered as per the requirements in a short time period. On the other hand, a web design demands a lot of time in creation as well in carrying out changes in it. Thus wireframes save time by providing a solid foundation.

Are best to communicate ideas to clients

Color and graphic elements can distract the clients and take away their attention from the real purpose of the site. As wireframes are simple representation of a web design layout and do not contain these elements, they help in communicating the ideas in a clean and organized way which leads to a better understanding. Clients may also make some valuable suggestions to make the design more effective.

Who makes use of Wireframes?

Designers

It is quite obvious that designers comprise the major users of wireframes as they helps a great deal as will be discussed later.

Developers

Developers too use wireframes to identify the functional and technical requirements of a site.

Quality Assurance Testers

Wireframes comes handy to QA testers while writing Test scripts.

Clients

This may come as a surprise but Clients (Business owners) do make use of wireframes to put forward their specifications and requirements before the designers. It helps them making clear which features need to highlighted from their business point of view.

Benefits of Wireframing

Facilitates changes in design

As mentioned above also, it is quite easy to incorporate changes in a wireframe than a web design. It not only saves time but cost also which otherwise has to be incurred for making changes in a design.

Helps sort Navigation issues in proper time

Site navigation must always be smooth enough to let the users easily find the information that they are looking for in a site. Wireframing allows the ability to check whether navigation is up to the mark or not. If there are any issues, they can be addressed right there and then.

Allows improving content presentation

Content is the most important element of a website and wireframes, help in presenting content in such a form which attracts the readers and also enhances readability. It helps in finalizing a format which is user friendly.

Leads to the creation of an effective site

This is in fact the most beneficial aspect of Wireframing as with the help of it, designers and developers can create effective websites that can fully realize the objectives they are meant for. This particular reason also makes Wireframing as an excellent approach that should be adopted for creating web designs.

Useful and Free Wireframing tools

Mockingbird

Creating and sharing mockups of a website is now made easy with this online tool.

Cacoo

Easily create diagrams and wireframes using this user friendly tool.

Gliffy

It is efficient website wireframe software that allows creating and sharing wireframes of a site.

MX Graph

A fast Wireframing tool that helps create wireframes while providing the visual preview simultaneously.

Lovely Charts

A simple tool to create wireframes, it can also be used to make flowcharts, sitemaps, organization charts, etc
Thus it can be concluded that Wireframing is an efficient practice that must be carried out before web designing to avoid countering problems later on. This is a small effort towards educating the readers about the advantages of Wireframing and we welcome some more insights from them.

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