When working on a design project as a UX designer, you will most likely want to showcase your creativity. However, it would be best to begin with, a wireframe before you identify imagery, logo, or the color palette of the project you are working on.
What is a Wireframe?
A wireframe is an essential part of developing a user interface (UI). A wireframe is a representation of the general structure of an app or website. You could create it using pen and paper, or a wireframe tool such as Adobe XD’s website wireframe tool.
A wireframe helps you figure out how different components like products, tabs, sections, information, and CTA will be placed and how space will be used. Therefore, by creating a wireframe, you can outline how you expect an app or website to appear on different devices, so you lay the groundwork for UX and the final product.
Types of Wireframes
Wireframes come in different sizes and shapes, but often they are done in high-fidelity (high-fi) or low-fidelity (low-fi) models, or they are hand-drawn.
Paper or hand-drawn wireframes
These are wireframes that are sketched by hand. They are an excellent way to add notes, give and receive feedback, and create user paths that can prompt valuable discussion amongst the team.
These are created on a computer and can either be in a low-fi or high-fi format. A low-fi wireframe can represent elements but is not clickable, while a high-fi wireframe represents actions that are clickable and interactive to showcase the UX journey. Therefore, low-fi wireframes are best for elements that live on a page, and high-fi wireframes are ideal for anyone who would like to see how conversions work on their website or app.
Wireframes for mobile, tablet, and desktop
People use different devices, so it is essential to have UX in mind when working on a design project. It is best to build wireframes for the different screen sizes and devices you anticipate users will use to find you on.
Things to Consider Before Preparing a Wireframe
There are multiple elements you need to consider before preparing a wireframe. They include,
You need to prioritize your content so you have an idea of what should come first. Keep your wireframe simple and display the top-priority content to help users get what they need and drive them to important actions.
Good navigation is essential. Whether your navigation is multilayered or straightforward, ensure you place the essential pages at the beginning and end, and your main navigation has less than seven items.
Consider how users read when you place items on a page. Therefore, when you create your wireframe, prioritize the placement of essential elements. Images, videos, and CTAs should be used as landmarks. Through the design process, step back and see where your eyes are drawn first. It will help you know if the main content can easily be spotted or ignored.
Keep your wireframe simple and use the actual copy so that you can assign the appropriate amount of space for each element. Save visual creativity for later, as it will help you have a clutter-free diagram that will navigate the project.