The development of a website involves several steps, from creation to design, implementation and final approval by the client. Therefore, as in any project, it is important to be provided with tools and work processes that are capable of speeding up and, most importantly, facilitating the entire process.
In fact, the beginning phase of a project is one of the most important, because it streamlines all the following steps, the work done by each team member and allows each delivery to be validated before the next stage starts. This is why wireframing is considered today as one of the first and most important steps in a project because it helps clarify exactly what needs to be done afterward.
What is a wireframe?
A website wireframe is a draft or skeleton that, using text and boxes, creates an overview of the website.
It should be the wireframe that determines almost completely how the structure of the website will be and what the content will be and that shows the people involved what the direction of the project will be. We can compare a website’s wireframe to a film’s storyboard.
It is during this phase of the project that UX (User Experience) should be considered as one of the main focuses. It is through UX Analysis that we will design, observing from the user’s point of view, the easiness with which the product will be perceived and used.
It is also important to point out that there are variations in the way wireframes are presented and designed, but they fall mainly into two categories: low fidelity wireframes versus high fidelity wireframes. The first is the simplest, hand-drawn models without much detail and without colors. High-fidelity wireframes are sketches much closer to the final version, usually drawn using digital tools, where some interactions, color schemes, and basic graphic elements are already included.
What is the real importance of a wireframe?
The wireframe is the key to understanding what kind of content the project should contain, the position of that content, and aligning it with the overall marketing strategy.
If the strategy is targeted at capturing leads, for example, it’s easier to understand the right way to distribute the text, images and call-to-action to encourage the user to fill out the form.
It allows us to correct, rethink and adjust at an early stage
By drafting wireframes before we deliver the final project, we avoid a lot of hassle and late feedback. In fact, if something is found to be wrong, we can adjust the wireframe as many times as needed much easier than in a final design phase.
It helps to define specifically who we are talking to and what we want to say
The first step, as in most projects, is to develop a briefing with those responsible for the project. In this way, it is essential to gather all the information in a document to guide all actions, to know the target in-depth, and to define the goals clearly. As we have already mentioned, it is crucial to prioritize the information/content according to the website’s objective.
Makes it possible to draw a very rough concept for each page
A wireframe should include as much information on each page of the new website as possible and outline the macrostructure of the pages right away. When we are designing a wireframe we should first consider the main elements of most pages, such as headers, footers, sidebars, content areas, meta-information, and search areas. After that, we start to draw the detailed outline of each of the pages, already placing as much content (text and images) that the designer should use.
Developing wireframes is indeed a key step in the process of developing and starting a website. Even when we are designing a minimalistic and simple website, developing a wireframe helps clarify exactly what we need to do on the different pages of the project.