“What separates design from art is that design is meant to be… functional.” – Cameron Moll
Wireframing is an integral part of the website design process. One of a wireframe’s primary roles is to draw up and confirm the relationships between the different parts of a website such as the text, calls to action, photos, and navigation.
However, as Dana Lawson notes, the art of wireframe design’s ultimate objective is to “create an ideal space for collaborative conversations about design solutions, while supporting iterations and driving rapid ideation.“
Tips to ensure that wireframes ask and answer the right questions
Wireframing does not only help the user interface design process, but it also needs to ask and answer questions about the ultimate user experience. As it is the user experience that will drive traffic to the website and convert visitors to the site into returning customers. This, in turn, will increase the company’s sales figures as well as its bottom line, which is the ultimate goal of any business.
Before we look at several tips to help ensure that the wireframes are driving the website development process forward, it’s important to remember that successful wireframing is all about providing the opportunity to formulate and develop website design ideas.
Therefore, here are five tips to help the wireframe iteration and ideation process:
Keep wireframes unpolished and rough
Do not use colour in wireframes as it distracts the development team from developing the whole customer experience. Essentially, wireframes should be similar to pencil sketches. Once the website’s process flow and user experience has been sketched out, the User Interface details can be considered.
Wireframing: facilitator of ideas
Wireframes are designed to facilitate group discussions. It is about the sharing of ideas to develop a great end product that meets all of its design goals. In other words, wireframing that is used individually and not collectively, is less likely to produce the correct result.
Wireframes are not prototypes
While both prototypes and wireframes are fundamental parts of the website design lifecycle, they are not the same and serve different purposes. Essentially, a prototype is a first version or iteration of a website, while the wireframes are the rough draft of the site’s user experience.
Set parameters and clear expectations
It is critical to set parameters, expectations, and boundaries at the beginning of the wireframing process. Otherwise, the aims and goals of the exercise will not be met. It is also easy to get distracted along the way. Therefore, it is equally important to make sure that the core group remains focused during the entire wireframing process.
Choose the right tools for the task at hand
Successful brainstorming and ideation need to be carried out in conjunction with the right tools. It depends on the size and scale of the end product. Sometimes a pencil sketch on several pieces of paper is good enough to get the discussion going. While, on the other hand, larger projects might need specialist wireframing applications.
Consequently, it’s best to contact a wireframing expert to help with this phase of the project.
Based on the above content, the importance of a productive wireframing exercise cannot be underestimated. Call Polished Pixels now to make sure that your wireframes produce the desired result.