The importance of wireframes during website or mobile app development

Fri, 25/10/2019 - 09:35

Wireframes in UX design have become fundamental in pursuing new web or app development projects. While they might seem complex, or useless, for business owners who are not familiar with the benefits of this tool, they can significantly save your team time, prevent hiccups and improve the efficiency of a task. 

What are wireframes? 

Wireframes are crucial for web design as they can be considered the skeleton, or foundation, of the website. They are simple grey and white drawings containing only the most important elements and functionality of the site, such as the layout of the main navigation, buttons, and columns. These drawings are devoid of any design elements such as colours, fonts, images, and sometimes text.

The aforementioned design elements can detract from the importance of user experience; the functionality and elements that should exist on the webpages, thereby giving designers the chance to focus on user experience (UX), arguably the most important part of the design process. 

What is a good user experience? 

Good user experience starts by understanding your users and what they hope to achieve on your site. This can be anything from signing up to a newsletter to completing a purchase on an e-commerce site. A good user experience design will ensure a frictionless journey for the website or app visitor, delighting them from the moment they land on the website to completing the checkout process. This method will increase customer satisfaction, meaning you will have return visitors to your website or mobile app.

Why use wireframes? 

If done correctly, wireframes, based on the client’s requirements and scope for their website or app, can help all the stakeholders involved in the project understand what the end product will look like and how it will function before work starts to take shape. So, let’s take a look at the benefits of wireframes: 

Wireframes save time and money 

Having an overall picture of the website or app ensures that all features, requests and details are included, thus helping to avoid mistakes and saving time on client back-and-forth. It also saves money on not having to redesign some elements, or even whole pages, of a website. Nevertheless, when client feedback needs to be implemented, having these simplified wireframes makes it easier and faster for UX designers to iterate and update them compared to the effort necessary to update fully-fledged designs.

Wireframes define layout and navigation 

The layout of a site or app is often undervalued, but it plays an important role in user experience design. The website or app’s navigation should ensure a clean and simple user journey that causes no confusion to the visitor. If a user lands on the homepage and doesn’t know where to go from there, they will most likely just press the “back” button and choose to go to a different website. Defining the navigation with the help of wireframes means it can be tested to ensure a good user flow across the site or app.

Developers love wireframes

Seeing as wireframes are used to showcase layout and functionality, having developers review them and give their input is a sensible way to eliminate possible issues early on. Furthermore, the wireframes are used to indicate the different elements and how they interact, thus guiding the developers on how these elements need to be coded. Ultimately, wireframes ensure that the client, designers, product owners, and developers are all on the same page.

To conclude, there are many benefits of wireframing and UX for mobile app development; it’s integral to consider before starting the design process. Not only do you ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page from the start of the project, but you save on time and money during the development process. 

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