The importance of wireframing is highly disregarded. Too often this step is omitted from the site build process in favour of keeping time and saving budget, but this can be a horrible mistake. This part of the process is often overlooked due to lack of knowledge in this area, but once you’ve built a site using wireframes you will never look back. Before we carry on about the importance or wireframes, let’s delve a little further into what they actually are.
What Exactly Are Wireframes?
A wireframe is a basic sketch up of a website and pages that offers designers, business owners and all people involved in the web build process, a clear illustrative view of what each page of the website will look like. It’s often referred to as a blueprint or building plan of the site and is presented without the complication and distraction of colours, logos, images and any other design. This enables the viewer to get a clear understanding of where buttons, navigational items, text, images and all other page elements will be placed; and it also makes it easier for changes to be made on each page before the design process has even begun.
How Does Wireframing Benefit The Site Build Process?
There are a number of ways that wireframes can benefit and streamline the site build process.
Save Time On The Overall Project
If you consider how much easier it is to make changes in this format than it is once design has been done, you wouldn’t be faulted for thinking that wireframing actually saves time in the long run… because this is the case. Changes are quick to effect when you’re working without the design overlay and you can ensure that everyone is on-board with the structure, layout and placement of all elements before moving onto the next step.
Visual Representation Of The Sitemap
Often sitemaps are represented in Excel or a table format. It’s a very one dimensional way of viewing what the site actually looks like, although one can glean enough of an idea of the architecture of the site from the layout, but without the detail. Wireframing takes this to the next step: call it transforming your one dimensional view into something two dimensional. Without even designing so much as a footer, you’re able to visually see what the bigger picture will be upon completion.
Helps You Focus On Usability
The wireframe presents the perfect opportunity for you to test out the usability of your proposed layout. Are there buttons where there should be? Is there a clear path from one page to the next and also to conversion? Does the navigation make sense and encompass all the right high-level pages? Is all the right space accounted for in terms of detail, information and imagery? This space allows you to tweak and perfect, without creating any hassle for you, your designers or developers. It’s as if you’re working on a chalkboard, erasing what doesn’t need to be there and quickly adding what does.
Use Only What Needs To Be There
Taking the above point one step further, the notion of “less is more” is highly prevalent when building websites. Removing clutter and unnecessary features is a step that one should always go through, but often if it’s already in design and perhaps even already been developed, it can be more difficult to execute. Going through these steps in the wireframing process is simple and it also allows the business owner to view exactly how each web element will work, which can often lead to them being removed if they’re found to be unnecessary.
If you need any further proof that drawing up wireframes are the right course of action when building a website, then all we can say is that the proof exists in experience. Would you build a house without first consulting your building plans? Would you put together a model airplane without first viewing the plan of how it fits together? When you look at it in that light, it makes wireframing an essential part of the project that needs to be visited.
Chat to us today about how we can integrate wireframing into your web build.