The importance of creating wireframes before moving on to design

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

One of the most crucial stages of a thorough User Experience (UX) design process is wireframing, but what is a wireframe?

HC

Written by

UX ASSISTANT

For the uninitiated, a wireframe is the bones of a website. Wireframes are created early in development to determine content layout, functionality, and to make sure all stakeholders, whether client or agency-side, are on the same page. They are constructed pre-design, so wireframes are usually made using only a greyscale colour palette, placeholder text and some boxes for images.

Wireframing gives you the opportunity to visualise the hierarchy of your content and act accordingly to feedback; either from client stakeholders, user testing or the wider design and development team. Not only do wireframes inform how a web design will flow and function but they allow designers to identify issues early in the design process. Wireframes increase efficiency across the board, saving time on revisions and reducing back and forth.

It is far simpler to amend a wireframe than it is to make changes to a high-fidelity mockup. This efficiency is increased further when you pair your wireframes with user research.

The best website and page designs utilise real user research in the wireframing process to inform every decision. User research pre-design allows us to learn several things before getting started, such as user behaviours, goals and pain points. You can determine how users intend to navigate a site to get to the end goal and what challenges they will face along the way. Research informs structure, function and intention. For example, if a large proportion of your users are facing challenges reaching your intended goal, that would indicate you need to change the structure of your website or streamline the flow to said goal.

There are many different methods and tools you can use to create wireframes. You can even do it with a pen and paper. It is such a simple step in the UX process yet essential to inform the later stages of design and development.

At Uplift, we believe that ensuring we understand and reflect our users’ needs from the very start of a project leads to more impactful results.

If you’d like to know more about our approach to website design and optimisation, please get in touch.