How important is a wireframe to your website?
It’s fair to say that most businesses we meet are concerned about their websites. In recent years, despite being a commonplace piece of real estate, they have significantly grown in importance. When we say ‘commonplace’, we mean because almost all businesses now have a website of their own. Are they all as good as each other? No, of course not! But, most are active somewhere or other in the digital world.
Because of the pandemic, the online boom has progressed quickly. Away from the obvious increase in online spending as we were all trapped in our homes, there came a new way of shopping online. And luckily for us in the know, it championed something we had already been leveraging for some time.
Have we lost you? Not to worry, all will become apparent! So, with the competition becoming heated and online sectors more competitive. On volume alone, competing with the big boys was impossible. So, how could the smaller businesses get in the fight? Well, with user experience (UX), that’s how.
At Create8, we included wireframes in our web design projects long before the pandemic. In fact, we’ve had them as part of our work for as long as we can remember. A wireframe helps businesses understand their website before all the glitz and glam of the design process.
In this blog, we want to talk you through the importance of wireframes and explain how they could help your website drive conversions in the long run.
So, let’s not waste any more time; let’s talk about wireframes.
What is a wireframe?
A wireframe is used to map out all the essential elements of a website prior to the design stage. Implementing a wireframe allows the web designer and client to discuss a website’s functionality and user experience before any graphic or content elements are included.
The wireframe constructs the journey as a whole, including where buttons will be placed and where they will lead. The wireframe is also beneficial to the content team as it provides knowledge of where elements will sit when placed on the website. For example, a wireframe will help your content writer to understand the size, length and role that certain pieces of text will play in the user journey of the finished site. This allows the content writer to prepare headings, phrases or paragraphs to fit the allotted space and to achieve the intended goal.
Some designers may consider skipping the wireframing process and will deem it too time-consuming. However, if you genuinely value the importance of your website, we would recommend only accepting a web design project that includes wireframing, or you could hire an agency which always provides one (wink, wink).
When is the correct time for a wireframe?
The wireframing process should always come at the beginning of the web design project; this allows the designer and client to understand any errors that may occur early enough to fix them at no extra cost. From an agency perspective, a wireframe also allows us to explain the layout and process of a site to our clients, meaning they can visually see the design we are suggesting.
There are also two different types of wireframes that a web design agency may offer. Low-fidelity wireframes explain the general layout and positioning of design elements. A high-fidelity wireframe provides more information, adding in details and graphics to show more of the brand and imagery that will be included.
Typically you would receive a low fidelity wireframe first, once this layout is confirmed, you would then receive the high fidelity wireframe to confirm the final design before the website is created.
Wireframes at Create8
At Create8, we pride ourselves on our processes. Having fine-tuned our offering over the years, we believe we offer a complete service at a customer-friendly price. When you choose us for a web design project, you’re hiring one of the best teams with lots of experience and know-how. With Create8, you benefit from the skills of our team as we all share our expertise on each project to ensure you receive something innovative and thought provoking every time.
If you want to learn more about a web design project with Create8, or if you want to see some examples of our recent work, follow the link below. Let us know if anything catches your eye; we can’t wait to hear from you!
What are the advantages of a wireframe?
So, we’re guessing by now that you’re probably chomping at the bit to find out how a wireframe will be helpful to you? Well, let’s break down the top advantages of the wireframing process.
Visualise a clear structure
The wireframe should be the first step in the web design process, and in being so, it’s the transition from all those brilliant ideas to an actual tangible one. The wireframing process allows the client and the designer to share opinions and thoughts on the website’s structure.
Putting UX at the heart of the conversation
As mentioned earlier, since the pandemic, the user experience of a website has increased in importance. This is due to so many websites providing similar or comparable services and products. To stand out, those in the know leveraged UX design to make their websites the ones that people wanted to use. By stripping away eye-catching imagery or thought-provoking blurb, you are left with the purest form of user interaction, and this is where you’ll make the biggest wins.
Clarification of features
Don’t fear; if you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve felt bogged down by the jargon used in the design sector, it’s a widespread occurrence. But, if your agency uses the wireframing process correctly, it’s one that need not happen. The wireframe is there so your designer can explain terminologies such as ‘hero image’ no, it’s not a marvel-themed graphic; in fact, it’s something much more important. Giving a client visual cues and allowing them to understand the semantic field is essential to designing something they are going to love.
A wireframe essentially allows all those involved in the design process to give the website a test run. By navigating through the way a site is going to unfold, we are able to understand any stumbling blocks or anything that may have been missed. The breadcrumbs we design in our mind can often seem logical, but when put into play, they could, in fact, be distracting and take away from the overall UX of the site.
Saving time, effort and MONEY
Here’s the thing that those agencies who don’t do wireframing won’t want you to know. Having a wireframe actually saves you money in the long run. “Why?” We hear you ask. Well, because following on from a wireframe makes the design process more formulaic and guided. It means we are designing from the knowledge we have already gained and not speculation. By linking all of our designs to the wireframe, we can collaborate with the client, and their feedback to build something that we all agree on and know will work for the brand.
Create strategic content development
We mentioned this briefly earlier; however, it’s vital to understand the value that great content will bring to your website. Churning out masses of text for the sake of it isn’t going to help your website score well in the world of SEO, nor is it going to resonate with those reading it! Having a wireframe will help you to fully understand your content before it goes to an expert to construct. Your designer will be able to help you figure out the best fonts to use, the size of your headers as well as other text and even the position and amount of text needed.
Create8 Top Tip – This is a simple one. If you’re not receiving a wireframe, ask your designer why. Offer some of the reasons mentioned above and choose someone who fully understands the needs of your brand and its website.
At Create8, we are huge fans of wireframing, as if you hadn’t noticed! We believe that by following a specific web design process, our team can build something bespoke to the exact needs of each client.
Understanding how your customers are going to interact with your website has never been more important. By building a wireframe, we are championing the value of user experience and ensuring that our clients have an unforgettable website for each of their customers.
If you would like to learn more about what we do, or alternatively, you want to reach out and request a quote for your new project. We can’t wait to hear what you have in store and offer you all of the ways that we could help build the businesses of your dreams.