Get the low down on website wireframes and why they are an important stage in the design process.
Why do we need website wireframes?
It helps if you think of your website as a house and website wireframes as the plans.
Before anyone starts mixing up cement and buying bricks, an architect will come in and make some simple sketched that identify the design and functionality of your building.
Before we start writing blocks of code and arranging pictures, website wireframes allow the development team to plan out the function and the structure of your site.
As well as assessing the visuals for your site, website wireframes are an opportunity to explore the user journey for a typical visitor.
It’s a great time to explore button and menu behaviours – ensuring that your clients will be able to find what they are looking for when they come to your site and reduce overall bounce rates.
Website wireframing makes your site better.
It’s hard not to be distracted by backgrounds, colours and pictures, but at this stage, we’re only interested in how the elements work together on the page and the information architecture (where stuff goes).
We want to explore how a user will interact with your site, from arriving on the homepage to gaining additional information to (hopefully) making contact or initiating the sale.
Website wireframes are incredibly quick to produce, either sketched by hand or digitally. This allows us to produce numerous different layouts in a relatively short space of time, to give a client more options.
Website wireframes save time and project budget.
Website wireframes are planning – time invested in this stage of the project informs all other stages of the design and build process.
The more time invested in wireframes, less time is required during the design stages as the designers have layouts to work from, know what content is going where and can work more effectively.
It’s very tempting to push your web agency to show you the design but try and take a step back from ‘what it’s going to look like’ and engage fully in the wireframing stage – it’s designed to make your website more effective.
Wireframing results in a better website.
Ultimately, the whole point of the wireframing stage of a project is to get the best results for the final live site.
If you skip over this stage or don’t invest enough time into it, it can lead to problems further down the project journey.
The design and development team need wireframes to properly design and build your site – without them they are guessing and what should go where – this can result in you seeing design visuals and page builds that you want to change – which is fine, but it takes far more time (and project budget) to rework a design or page build than it does a wireframe.