Web designers looking to make beautiful webpages must utilize tools to get cutting-edge results. Wireframes are an excellent tool for web designers to conceptualize a prospective website layout without dedicating excessive amounts of resources to a preliminary design. Many designers have utilized wireframes since the inception of the Internet. However, many wireframe tools are now available in today’s world to make more advanced website designs that might not have been possible in the past. Rich media elements that include videos, animated banners, and social media share buttons can all be included in wireframes today.
As much as we are not a huge fan of wireframes in our design process, and instead lean more towards creating working prototypes for clients, there are benefits that wireframes can bring to your website design process.
Below are seven reasons why every web designer needs to use wireframes for any website design project.
1. Make Planning More Effective
Wireframes are excellent because they can allow website designers to preview a prospective design before finishing a project. Without a wireframe, designers have no way to know how a design will look until it is actually completed. Since website design can take many hours to finish, it is important for website designers to preview their concepts before turning them into a reality. Wireframes can, therefore, lead to a more efficient workflow and reduce the amount of time that some designers are forced to waste due to mistakes.
Upon beginning a website, website designers can make use of wireframes to plan specific design concepts. Wireframes can also be used on existing websites to decide how to optimize a website’s appearance. The best part about wireframes is that they can also be used at a later date if designers ever decide to rebuild the website in the future. Wireframes can be stored anywhere and can even be conveyed to other designers through the cloud. Therefore, wireframes are essential for individual website designers and design teams during the initial stages of the design process.
2. Present Ideas to Customers
Wireframes make it easy for website designers to share their design ideas with prospective customers. Many website design businesses offer a wireframe mockup of a prospective website to a customer before signing a contract. Since wireframes make a potential website more tangible, they can often be an effective sales tool to acquire new customers.
Designers that get familiar with wireframes can also use them for other graphical design elements on the website itself. For example, a web designer could use wireframes to demonstrate an idea for a potential logo to a customer. Effective usage of wireframes can help designers acquire a diverse range of new customers and encourage prospective customers to spend more during the sales process.
3. Reduce the Cost of Mistakes
As any experienced website designer knows, rebuilding a design after it has been completed is a painful task. Many designers get frustrated by the amount of effort required to go back and change small portions of a completed website. Wireframes can almost eliminate the cost of mistakes by ensuring that they do not happen in the first place. Website designers can share their ideas with customers and project managers to get design approval before moving forward. As with anything in life, planning ahead can lead to much better results. Designers that utilize wireframes as a planning tool are often much more successful in their careers.
4. Experiment with New Designs
Wireframes can function as a platform to enable designers to experiment with new ideas. Experimentation is possible with wireframes because they make the cost of a mistake likely to be low. During the experimentation process, most designers will develop a diverse range of ideas. In many cases, only one idea will actually be incorporated into the final project. Therefore, it is important to have a platform that enables free experimentation without the high costs of redoing a bad idea.
Wireframes can be a great way for designers to expand their skills into new designs and incorporate them into a new project. Designers who use wireframes to develop new designs can be more well-rounded and have a wider range of skills that can be applied to new projects.
5. Websites That Demand Uniformity
Large-scale website design projects often require a design that is fairly uniform across many pages. Unfortunately, many designers fail to adhere to a general design because they have not sketched out a template to guide the design of every page. Wireframes can provide an initial model that designers can utilize to ensure uniformity across many webpages. Designers can also use wireframes to experiment with changes to the template itself that could affect many different pages.
Wireframes can help designers ensure uniformity across an entire website while still remaining flexible. Designers can even use wireframes to ensure a uniform design across several different platforms that includes social media, a mobile website, or even traditional print media.
6. User Interface Optimization
User interface optimization is becoming increasingly important for websites that have a high volume of daily traffic. A small design change could have a big impact on the number of individuals clicking on a particular link or visiting a subsidiary page. Wireframes make it easier for designers to conceptualize a webpage’s design to consider how page elements could be optimized for users. Many designers who specialize in user interface optimization use advanced wireframes to find new ways to get more out of every webpage. Professional designers should utilize their wireframes to enhance usability and deliver a better product to their customers.
7. Easier Collaboration
Working as a team on a design project can often be a challenge because the design vision can be difficult to translate to another individual. A wireframe can make it easier to convey an initial design to another person. Wireframes can be sent over the Internet to enable collaboration thousands of miles away. Designers should take advantage of wireframes to demonstrate their ideas and find it easier to work with other people to achieve a design goal.
Better collaboration can lead to enhanced productivity. Therefore, it is important for web designers to utilize wireframes to enable them to work more effectively with people. Whether working with a customer, a coworker, or an employee, website designers can get more out of their time by taking advantage of wireframes for new projects.