Website development is hard work. It’s a creative, highly skilled and technical process that requires a lot of time. As a result, sometimes developers skip the wireframing phase, because they often want to get straight into design. It’s important to make sure you always wireframe your website before you get into design. Here, we’ll outline only some of the benefits of creating wireframes, both for the benefit of the designer and the client. Trust us, it makes for a far more efficient process.
What is a website wireframe?
A website wireframe, sometimes known as a blueprint, is an outline for a website, created by designers. The wireframe conceptualizes the way that a website will function and what purpose it will hold. The wireframes include specific page layouts, information displayed, navigation, information priorities, and many other details that are best displayed schematically. Often, wireframes are created using computers, but some designers still use good old pencil and paper to translate their early ideas into a functioning website.
Using wireframes helps to communicate ideas to your client in a tangible way before going into the expensive development phase. If done correctly, wireframes are so detailed, in that they allow all members of the team, from developers, programmers, designers and clients, to understand the website’s functionality and individual page layout.
Leave Nothing to the Imagination
Often, when working on a project, there are several people, with very different ideas, involved. There are clients, designers, account people and developers, who all want a say on how to evolve a project and make a website the best it can be. Wireframes are a fundamental way to outline concepts from the very beginning, leaving nothing to the imagination. Your client wants to know what happens when he clicks on a specific button? The wireframes cover that, as well as every other interaction between pages.
As a designer, you appreciate all of the information that you can get. Developers are no different. A wireframe helps them understand exactly what goes where, exactly what links to what, and exactly why. Sometimes the “why” is overlooked, but when it comes to web development, the “why” is an important factor in determining what specific technologies to use.
When the entire site navigation is laid out in one place, it’s often the time when clients and creative team members determine another way of doing something that may not have been thought of before. Often the other way of doing things is better and cannot be determined without laying everything out for everyone to ponder together. Making changes at the wireframe stage is also a lot easier and cost effective than making changes at a later date, which is appreciated by both designers, developers and clients alike.