Is there a difference between wireframing and sending screenshots of a landing page? This was the first question I thought of while conducting my first wireframe. It seemed so basic, but indeed, they are very different. Wireframing is created in the early stages of a project. It’s used to layout content and functionality of a website and its pages (1). Completing a wireframe in the beginning of a project allows stakeholders and other team members to approve it that way teams can dive deeper into fleshing the site out with innovation and creativity. Wireframes are custom to each company and directly displays what they are looking for. Sending screen shots is unorganized, unoriginal, and leaves room for many errors.
After conducting my own wireframe, I concluded the most important components to keep in mind when wireframing is user needs and user journey. Websites should be user-centric being that they will be the ones utilizing the site. Three questions that could facilitate a wireframe are: Does my structure accomplish the purpose of the page, Is it clear what actions users can take and what questions might arise from users (2)? Asking yourself this will ensure user expectations and practicality are met. Although wireframing is proven to be a superior method, I wanted to take a deeper look at its pros and cons (3).
- Provides early visual
- Users can review it and give feedback
- Provides confidence for the designer
- Ensures functionality and user ease
- Saves time and money
- Does not include real content
- Actual content may not fit into the wireframe
It appears the pros definitely outweigh the cons. This is because wireframe provides so much value to internal teams. Laying everything out allows for changes to be made in a cost effective and time efficient manner. I used to be someone who just sent screenshots to my graphic design team, but after learning how to wireframe and all the benefits of it, this is my new and preferred method.
Questions For Reader: Do you use wireframing? What platforms do you use? What benefits do you find in wireframing? What do you think the most important component of wireframing is?
- Rees, Damian. “What Is Wireframing?” Experience UX, www.experienceux.co.uk/faqs/what-is-wireframing/.
- Cacoo. “3 Things You Should Always Prioritize in Wireframes.” Cacoo, 1 May 2020, cacoo.com/blog/three-things-prioritize-wireframes/.
- Malone, Emily. “The Pros and Cons of Wireframing in a Website Redesign.” Growth, www.growthdrivendesign.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-wireframing-in-a-website-redesign.