Wireframe– A stepping stone

Case study -Ketaki

Nowadays, Many of the clients suggest to skip the wireframe stage of UX/UI design process and roll directly into UI design of the site or application.

As lot of clients or stake holder has this notion that Visual design will give better understanding than wireframes they right away jumping into design would save time and money.

“Skipping wireframes is a bad decision.”

Let me try to clear concept of what is wireframe, what role it plays is design process and Why wireframe is crucial and beneficial for creating best user experience

What is wireframe

Wireframe is like a skeleton of the interface converting information architecture to the visual aspects of the design by showing pathways between the various pages. Wireframes are intentionally void of color, graphics and stylized fonts so that the spacing of elements on the page, how content is prioritised, what functionalities are available, and how users will interact can be focused upon.

What role it plays is design process

As a UX/UI Consultant first thing we do is to discover the product need and understand product domain from that insights feature listing and road mapping in form of flow chart or site map is done. Wireframe is a bridge which is helps in converting all research and design strategy into grayscale visual language by designing low fidelity or high fidelity wireframes of the interface and before the creative design phase.

“Wireframes are the foundation”

Benefits of Wireframe

#1 Brings Clarity: As mentioned above wireframe helps in execution of concept and ideas into solid layout. This will help to brainstorm and explore alternative possibilities that they would like to induct in design. Wireframes brings clarity to both client and UX/UI designer by bringing them on a same page and creates a solid structure foundation before implementing it in the designing part.

#2 Ensures an informational hierarchy: Wireframes allow the companies to focus on adjustments and promote the essential information and navigation elements on page that hold more importance without getting distracted by visual appeal and aesthetics. A prototyping can be compelling for both client and designer. Besides, a straightforward black-and-white visual display of the wire frame enables a designer to ensure that the design falls neatly into its place enhancing the importation elements.
#3 Clarify the features of interface: In many instances, clients may not understand jargons like “dynamic slideshow,” “news feeds,” “Google map integration,” “product filtering,” “breadcrunmb” and hundreds of other types of features. A wireframe provides a clear communication to a client how these features will function, where they will appear on the specific page and how useful they might actually be.

#4 Focuses on right user experience: Bringing out right user experience is the one of the most important benefits wireframes. Usability is the basic requirement of design. Wireframe takes out the images and colour and focus on the bones so that it forces everyone to look objectively at an interface like how these features will function, where they will appear on the specific page and how useful they might actually be.
#5 Early start of development: Wireframe is a guide to development teams as it offers specific and accurate directions for the developers, cutting down the room for assumptions and doubts. These helps development team to start constructing the framework, integrate Api, Update data base parallel to interface visual design this will not just help starting development but also saves time to clarity of flow and features as it reduces rework.

#6 Optimising site navigation: To many, the wireframe acts like a navigation ‘test run’ or prototyping, even though they have not started building a Interface yet. User experience of product keeps on evolving everyday with user feedback. With wireframe client can easily get real time user testing done which will help to spot the flaw in the navigation and features and correct that in the foundation stage. This helps in achieving well-structured wireframe ensuring that all the key design elements, C2A, essential pages function flawlessly and offer a good UX.
#7 Brings Better creativity: UX team ensures wireframe project before it is forwarded to the design time. This makes the process a lot much easier and simpler, as UI designer don’t have to spend time ensuring the flow is perfect and key design elements are intact. They can simply focus and explore on bringing out brand value, style and colour which make a low fidelity wireframe work look like a masterpiece design concept.

#8 Takeaway: Skipping a wireframe is not a wise decision as it is a foundation of a product, when the Foundation (wireframe) is well built, the final product/website ought to come out flawless.
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