One of the first steps in designing a website is Wireframing. It’s simply a hand-drawn or onscreen blueprint that represents the skeletal framework of a website. It is used to arrange page layout and content, including navigation, logos, and other functional elements on the page, such as videos. Wireframing helps to organize priority of content, and depict functionality and behaviour of elements on the page. It’s not a mockup or design as it doesn’t address colour, graphics, or typography. Instead, it’s the visual blueprint you give to your website designer to get started.
Instead of trying to combine the functionality/layout and creative/branding aspects of the website in one step, wireframes ensure that these elements are taken in one at a time. This allows clients (and other team members) to provide feedback earlier in the process. Skipping wireframes delays this feedback and increases the costs of making changes because full design mock-ups must be reworked, not just simplified wireframes.
Since wireframing is one of the first steps in the design process it can help communicate ideas more clearly, and set the expectations for a friendly user experience. Having a wireframe blueprint on hand is a fantastic way to speed up the design process. It allows everybody to visually recognize what they’re working towards and how they’re going to get there, in addition to providing a centralized unification resource for how multiple elements will work with each other. Building a good wireframe is a surefire way to save time and meet deadlines.
The things you want to include in a wireframe are:
- Main Content Area
Ultimately, whether or not you want to use a wireframe will depend on your personal goals. However, if you plan to build a website that’s medium or large in size that plans to make money for a business, you will undoubtedly want to use wireframing, as it is hands down the most effective way of streamlining the process.
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