What is wireframing in UX design?
An expertly designed and implemented User Experience (UX) is foundational to the successful design of a website. Through an extensive, pre-production, discovery, and research stage known as wireframing, we glean as much as possible about the end-user, the goals, and the relevant competitors. As UX designers, our focus is on ensuring that the final design optimally facilitates the user and achieves the goals. Wireframing ensures a solid foundation of insights from which to design and develop the website.
Why is wireframing important?
Wireframing affords the opportunity to visualize and functionally interact with the product in order to refine and improve the user experience prior to adding visual design elements. Think of the wireframe as you would the skeleton of a building. It would be ill-advised to start building your building without ensuring that all functional aspects of the building have been thoroughly explored, assessed, and vetted. To build without this initial stage would likely result in a poor outcome. In design, it works the same way. The wireframe represents the skeletal framework of a website. Our goal, when wireframing, is to make certain that the site effectively functions from a user perspective and fulfills our stakeholders’ needs. Wireframing also facilitates early identification of any initially unperceived points of friction. It’s also more efficient and cost-effective to allow the client to interact with a wireframe and familiarize themselves with the product at this stage so their feedback can inform development early on. Skipping this step may result in unexpected problems, late in the game, requiring development delays, and costly revisions.
Reasons why wireframing is key to creating a solid website:
- Provides opportunity to clearly see the outline of a project and solutions to the issues at hand
- Gives clients the opportunity to give feedback and figure out if the product needs any additional elements
- Allows clients to have a better understanding of what the end result will be
- Gives developers a better understanding of what needs to happen on the backend and if certain functionalities are possible based on time and budget
- Allows stakeholders to get familiar with the layout without getting distracted by the design or other aesthetic elements
- Provides the opportunity to make changes without having to spend an extended amount of time editing a mockup
- Gives a basis for creating prototypes
At Fahrenheit Marketing, our goal is to serve our clients and their users by providing exceptional website designs that are user-focused and data-driven. We want to make sure that users are satisfied with the product that they are interacting with and that we assess any issues that arise before we move to mockups. That is why wireframing is such an essential part of web design and UX design in general. The more work we do up-front, the fewer issues we face moving forward.