Wireframe: What it is and how to make one
Many times we start and finish a web design or a mobile application without having done the previous process of analysis of the objectives, distribution of the elements and design of the interaction, falling into a very typical error of the world of web design.
In the user-centered design and usability, there is a key process that will help us in the efficient development of the web: Wireframing.
It just sounded like Chinese, right?
Wireframes and prototypes are fundamental tools to analyze usability and are essential in the world of web design and development to try to convert our visitors efficiently and effectively, and these tools or processes can help us in this phase.
Therefore, I want to explain what a wireframe is for a web page, how to make a wireframe and wireframe examples to help you see it visually.
What is a wireframe?
A wireframe is a visual representation of the structure of the pages of the web. The wireframe has no photos or design, just text, links or any explanation schematically.
It is not a final word, but an advance of what the project will be with its concept, content hierarchies, structures, and basic design components.
When we talk about prototyping, it is the first version of something that is manufactured, so this would have to be transferred to the term on the web or App.
For example, when we make the plans of a house that is going to be built, we previously created the distribution and thought about how we are going to move inside it, right?
Well, it would be the same, but moved to a web page design or mobile application.
Now that you know what a wireframe is, I’m going to name some of the advantages of using them in the design process :
Improvement and optimization of the user experience. Focus more easily on certain decisions of the structure of the website or application. Be faster when designing. Show the client the structure of the web before building it. Better organization of work (and more if it is in a team). The client will feel part of the process since it will be present at every moment of the development.
Also, we find two levels of elaboration of a Wireframe, depending on the precision or detail with which they are made: low or high fidelity wireframes.
Low fidelity wireframe
It is a very simple first sketch of what will be the result to give us a general idea.
Surely what we establish in this wireframe will vary, but it is good to have the first vision. It could be done freehand on paper or blackboard.
High fidelity wireframe
This sketch will get closer to the final result, will bring us closer to what the web page design will be.
This will allow decisions to be made in the early stages of the project without affecting subsequent development.
How to make a wireframe?
We found two types of tools to create wireframes: downloadable and online.
In the former, we will have the advantage that we do not depend on the internet, and in the latter, we do not need to have a good computer or operating system according to the program and they are fully accessible.
To choose one, the ease of use and your preferences will come into play, so I will tell you which ones I know so that you can decide for your favorite.
This tool is the star of the world of wireframing and prototyping.
You can make a very advanced and customized visual design, although its free version is limited in time and must be paid.
It not only serves to create the outline of your wireframe, prototype or sketch but to create mockups of your websites with the final design.
This prototyping tool very similar to the previous one, and is one of the great favorites within the world of UX and UI.
You can do a wireframe for a first proposal, to create all the interface and interactions for the web you need.
Also, the prototype is free, so you can try it to see if it is your favorite and later buy the professional version with unlimited prototypes for $ 25 / month.
Adobe XD is also widely used, as is Sketch or envisions for the theme of prototyping websites and apps.
It is also very powerful and good, necessary to know if you are in the world of user experience and conversion. Also in its first version, it is free, but if you want to share the projects with the team and have more gigabytes in the cloud, you must upload it to the premium version.
The problem with the free version is that you cannot save any recording on your computer, but you will need the cloud and you have very limited space.