We know how important the look of a website is. It’s the same as the cover of a book, the plating of a meal at a restaurant, the paint color on the exterior of your home. While the design is what draws someone in and is incredibly important to your website, there is one step before “the look” that will make or break your site. That step is wireframing. Wireframes for websites are crucial for creating the site you want.
First, let’s cover what a wireframe is. If you want to build a site, the wireframe will be your foundation on which to begin building. Wireframes for websites are simple layouts that outline the sizes of the page, placement of page elements, features, conversion areas, and navigation. Skipping this step would be like putting great writing into a nicely bound book but without the chapters, correct order, page numbers, and index. These things are necessary. Another way to look at is like a blueprint for a home, where you can see the structural placement of the plumbing, electrical and other structural elements without any interior design treatments.
Wireframes are broken up into two categories based on the level of detail they use.
A low-fidelity wireframe resembles a rough sketch and has less depth. They are quick to produce and help a team collaborate some big picture ideas. These can help a business get an overview of how the site will flow for users.
High-fidelity wireframes are more robust because they incorporate a level of detail that more closely matches the design of the actual web page. These take longer to produce but can save the most time in the end because every detail and nuance are completely mapped out. For more complex projects, this type of wireframe is popular.
Skipping the step to get the look and feel put together is a huge mistake that could prove disastrous for any website. Putting together a website without a wireframe is like painting the home before you finish construction on the walls. To help you understand why here are five essential reasons your web developer should provide you a wireframe before they start coding.
The old cliché is true; time IS money, and no one wants their website to run over on time or budget. So where can you cut down on time spent? Wireframing. The old saying, measure twice, cut once, applies here too.
2. Wireframes Help Determine What Features are Needed
Deciding what features you want on your site is overwhelming. Wireframes for websites can help you determine what features are necessary and where to include them. We are talking about features like chat support, social media icons, Google maps, etc. Wireframing particular project features on a website provides clear communication for everyone on how these features will function and where they will live on your site. The good thing about wireframing is flexibility; you may decide to take out a feature once it’s laid out because it just doesn't work with your site’s goals or design.
3. Wireframes Give You a Visual Display
Showing the site design on a wireframe can offer you a real idea of what your site may end up looking like before design. Wireframes turn abstract ideas into a tangible visual example. Having this to display to other members of your team, your boss, etc. will be extremely helpful for making decisions early on.
4. It’s The Professional Thing to Do
You spend a lot of time, money, and resources on a website; you don’t want it to look cheap. Whether you are working on Wix or WordPress, design work is necessary. No matter the scale of your site, wireframing will identify some fundamental issues with the site before they go live. It will give you a detailed roadmap of where your site is going to ensure you end up in the right place.
5. Wireframes Will Help the Overall Look and Feel
Wireframes for websites assist in ensuring that elements of design and branding fit properly into the site. Adding features of the site one at a time makes sure everything is in the site correctly. Skipping wireframes can delay this feedback and increase the time the designer and web developer will need when making changes later on.
So, before you start building your website, make sure you add wireframing to the process. A well-built site provides the platform for all of your digital marketing endeavors in the future. When your site is built with speed, clarity, and intelligence, it can become the core of your marketing efforts. Contact us today if you have any questions on website development. We are happy to help guide the way!