Remember the kindergarten days when you used to get those coloring books with the outlines of pictures to fill color in? So that you would learn the art in a simplified yet systematic way. Wireframing is a lot like that.
Wireframes are essential for laying out a well-defined schematic plan for any kind of project. In software and web design, they serve the purpose of understanding the client’s requirements and discussing them with the help of a paper sketch that briefly describes the idea.
WHAT ARE WIREFRAMES ACTUALLY?
As the name suggests, these sketches only have wires and a frame, forming a skeleton on which the whole project will be constructed upon. The skeleton is called a Wireframe and it is the architectural roadmap for the developer to present his idea to the client.
1. There is nothing fancy about a wireframe, they are kept as simple and descriptive as possible. Clients with a thing for exactness or a sharp eye for detail can view the wireframe and figure out if this is the thing they want before the developer starts coding. So, in a way, fussing over a wireframe can save a lot of time and effort.
2. At Dikonia, we offer Wireframing and Documentation, as a service. This is because a lot of projects get doomed before even starting if they don’t have an agreeable and semantic wireframe. A well-documented project has a higher success rate than the otherwise. Our designers and developers understand your requirement comprehensively to deliver you a wireframe that will save you from getting lost in the development stage. You can know more about it here.
WHY IS WIREFRAMING INEVITABLE FOR THE CLIENT?
There is not one but several reasons why wireframes are a matter of serious concern for the clients before they start out with a project. Here are a few points regarding this that are worth mentioning.
SAVE TIME AND MONEY
Getting a wireframe made from the developer side and discussing all your visualizations through the wireframe will save you enormous amounts of time. It will give you a clear idea as to how the developer has comprehended your project and what all things the developer is going to bring to the table. You can select everything you like and discard things you don’t. This will prevent you from altering the final product which is a hell of a pain.
Every idea, before it is elaborately put on paper has loopholes and pitfalls spread across it. You might be planning a lot of things for your project but you might not end up using everything or you might want to keep a few things for later. In such as scenario, you can make these exceptions in the wireframe. You can keep some space for future additions and clearly lay down how to scale the project to make those accommodations. This will make you much more confident about your idea.
Wireframes also serve with you a sketch for understanding how will your website, web app or mobile app function. It’ll make things clear between you and developer so that you can make improvements right in the beginning rather than crying at the end of all the mess that has been created.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WIREFRAMING IS AVOIDED IN A PROJECT?
Let’s consider a scenario, where you as a client, thought that it will be a great idea to skip the wireframe and directly jump onto the development stage. What are all things bound to happen? Let’s take a look!
So, one fine day, you get a call from the developer that the initial iteration is ready and you can drop by to have a look at it. You head into the office and you find yourself baffled, looking at what the developer has come up with. It is nowhere near what you discussed and you can’t do anything but to accept it and be careful in the future.
You wanted a simple e-commerce site to sell your pet food online with ease. But what the developer has been constructing looks like a catalog for a fine dine restaurant and that too non-vegan. Well, this was bound to happen, because you had not discussed this earlier and now you have a lot of confusion and pet food to deal with.
After several compromises and disappointments, you are somewhere on the track that will take you to project delivery. But now you’ll see yourself 6 months off schedule and the surmounting fees that have been incurred in the meanwhile will hurt your wallet as much as it hurts your confidence.
Finally, the project is done and delivered. You have steered yourself out of the cobweb of HTML tags with success. Your website is up and running, and your product catalog shines like the summer sun. But no one is ready to buy from you because the project lacks the essence you wanted to put in it and you face dissatisfaction.
HOW TO MAKE WIREFRAMES AND HOW TO DO IT RIGHT?
If you are reading this article from the client’s perspective, we understand that you are not the one who is going to make them but a brief knowledge will help you determine their viability.
If you are the developer, here’s how to do it.
Wireframes can be of many types depending on what part of the project they are being used for. For simple UI wireframes, here are a few tips you can follow:
- Choose a fairly wide area to draw your design. If you are going to draw the wireframe manually, a whiteboard or a large plain sheet of paper will be the best.
- If you are using a software tool such as UXPin, make sure that the elements of the layout are loosely spaced with clear boundary demarcation.
- Identify the key objectives of the project such as business goals, functional requirements, and design specifications.
- Make a rough model in your mind.
- Start implementing the model on the paper by drawing one element at a time.
- Keep labeling things as you move with arrows and indicators wherever required.
Focus on these aspects in the wireframe:
- Logo and identity brand identity
- Content blocks
- Image Placement
- Navigational Buttons
- Menu bar
- Header and Footer design
- Functionality Explanation
Voila! In a short time, you’d be able to conceive the project in a whole lot better way and the client will be happy to see what you’ve done. Make sure that you refine the wireframe to meet the client’s perspectives and re-render it as many times as needed. You can make a prototype later on if the client finds it difficult to understand your creation but make sure the client gets the gist of it.
By now, you will agree that a wireframe is very necessary to hold the project together from the very start and avoiding it won’t be a wise experience.
Working as a 3rd party wireframing company we have built several wireframes for web applications and websites alike. From our experience, we can say that it is not a very difficult task but very important one. If a project is hiring a company only to get the wireframing done, you can well estimate the importance of the task.
Here is how a professionally done wireframe looks like:
So, don’t shy from the wireframes and if you feel you need one made from us, we’d be more than happy to offer our services for the same. Kindly contact us to discuss the project and achieve your goals on time, in the budget and with satisfaction. Find more details here.