Before a website is ever designed, most developers use wireframing applications. Wireframes are a crucial blueprint that sets the groundwork for what kinds of elements will be on certain pages and where they’ll be located. Wireframe tools can help developers and designers to put their ideas into fruition and to see these ideas come to life.
One of the biggest benefits of wireframe tools is that they can be used for a variety of different purposes. Here are 5 clever uses for wireframe tools that will allow you to better plan and develop your design ideas.
1. Designing Landing Pages
A website’s landing page can either pull in or drive away traffic. When designing a landing page, there are all sorts of important details and elements that need to be available.
A landing page should give a brief overview of who your company is and what you offer. The page also needs to provide “about us” and contact information.
According to a study conducted by KoMarketing, once on a company’s homepage, 86% of visitors look for information about a company’s products and/or services and 64% want to see the company's contact information.
While wireframes are high-level and shouldn’t be overly detailed, being able to map out and plan a landing page ensures that small details and expectations aren’t overlooked.
2. Creating Mockups for Clients
Are you a company that designs and develops websites for clients? If so, you likely know how hard it can be to share design ideas and to get buy-in from stakeholders. But, by taking the time to design wireframes, you can present something tangible for your clients.
With a wireframe in hand, stakeholders can have a high-level understanding of how each page will be designed and what the general layout will be.
Wireframes also allow stakeholders to quickly make suggestions. For example, maybe a client wants an image carousel versus a fixed image on the homepage. With a wireframe, this type of change can be easily notated and updated on a future version of the wireframe.
By creating mockups, you give clients a visual representation of the website that will be built. Though lacking detail, wireframes are typically enough to draw feedback from your clients. In turn, when the actual pages are being developed, there’s a lower chance of major changes.
3. Mobile App Design
Not only are wireframe apps beneficial for website developers, but they can also greatly benefit someone who is in the mobile app industry. Designing mobile apps is quite similar to designing a website. You have to have a flow and a layout for the app, and it needs to be as user-friendly and as simplistic as possible.
By using a wireframe tool, you can create a blueprint for your mobile app and get a clear picture of how the app will look and where certain elements will be placed within the app.
4. Testing the Flow
The flow of a website (or a mobile app!) is something that should be addressed early on in the design process. You don’t want to spend days building a website only to realize that the flow is convoluted and confusing. With a wireframe tool, you can test and optimize the flow of your creation before you ever build something that will go live.
Using a wireframe you can piece all of your diagrams together to conduct a high-level walkthrough of the website or app. With a wireframe you can:
- Determine the number of clicks
a user must make to navigate to important information
- Ensure the navigation is sufficient
- Identify any confusing elements
and fix them accordingly
By taking the time to test the flow of what you’re designing, you can ensure user-friendliness and have peace of mind that you’ve put a heavy focus on ease of use and overall usability.
5. Adding New Elements/Functionality
Over time your website needs will change. In the past, you may have decided to include a graphical element that allowed users to sign up for your company’s email list, but now you need to make room to add hyperlinks to your company’s social media profiles.
Since you never want to make changes to your website without proper planning, a new wireframe can be designed to determine the best placement for a new element on the website.
This also stands true when adding new functionality to the site. Want to add an RSS feed? Create a wireframe that displays your existing site layout and then figure out what elements need to be moved or resized to accommodate the new functionality.
Wireframe tools are beneficial for a variety of purposes. No matter if you’re redesigning your company website or are looking to launch a mobile app in the future, with the right wireframe application in tow, you can create a sturdy foundation that allows for measurable success.
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