Have you ever thought about making your own website or app? It’s easy to come up with an idea; the difficult part is determining how that idea will manifest itself in the form of a user interface.
There are two processes that you need to do in order to map out your ideas and make the execution easier.
Many designers are under the impression that a drawing is the same thing as a wireframe. Although they may seem very similar to the untrained eye, they are not the same thing. Both are helpful when it comes to illustrating an idea related to an interface; nevertheless, they are crafted from distinct media and provide distinctive outcomes.
Sketching, which is typically done with pencils and paper (Sketch pads), allows you to quickly explore different options for your idea in order to determine the best design direction. Sketching out a basic concept of the user interface will make the wireframing process faster and easier.
A wireframe is a straightforward visual guide that depicts the skeletal framework of a website or digital product. Consider it the blueprint for your final design. You provide enough detail so that everyone understands the shape of the wall, but you don’t go so far as to specify the type of brick the walls should be made of. Though wireframes are typically created by designers, they must be simple enough for other designers, stakeholders, developers, and users to understand the concepts.
The advantage of using wireframes is that they make it possible to collect additional information by conducting usability tests and soliciting feedback from stakeholders. People are able to focus on functionality and the user experience rather than being distracted by colors and other aesthetically pleasant components while using wireframes because they are straightforward.
Best practices for creating wireframes
There are no hard and fast rules for what you must include and what you must leave out of your wireframe, but there are some best practices to help you get the most out of your work.
- Keep aesthetic elements simple. Colors should be grayscale: white, black, and the grays in between.
- Use two fonts only. You can convey the hierarchy of the information through the use of typography. Stick to just two fonts to keep the visual hierarchy straight. When trying to emphasize points, consider altering the font size as well as using bold and italic where appropriate. This will allow you to differentiate between the various pieces of information that are included in your wireframe and bring attention to those details.
- Represent graphics and images with boxes. When designing, use clear symbols to show where graphics and images will be placed in the future. Use a triangle as a play button for video placements on relevant boxes. Use squares or rectangles with an X through them to indicate the positioning of an image.
- Consider screen size. Wireframes need to be both creative and technical in nature. Consider the numerous locations, stages, and uses for your design.
When to use a wireframe
While 1 wireframe can be used in nearly every situation, there are a few situations where you need to make modifications. Whether you’re trying to explain your concept to someone, get all stakeholders on the same 2 page, force a group decision, or validate your plan, a wireframe provides a simple visual. Whether you’ve already decided in using a wireframe or not, keep the following points in mind:
- Stakeholders are more attracted to simple designs.
- Wireframes allow you to see how the design will look and behave after it is transformed into a working prototype, even though they do not reveal the page’s actual functionality.
- Wireframes illustrate the limitations of space and the hierarchy of elements on the page without relying on the content itself to decide which elements are most important.
Wireframing using Figma
Figma offers wireframe templates that you can use to help you map things out easier and faster. You can easily share your wireframes with others. Members of the group can write comments on the document, which makes it easier to receive and answer questions.
When you have a wireframe, you have a guide for the rest of the process. Make sure it’s in a decent spot before moving on to adding content. What began as a simple line drawing will eventually be transformed into a fully functional product.
For more digital wireframing tips and UX design hacks, check out WayMaker Digital’s Momentum program. The program has mapped out a roadmap that will help you learn and acquire relevant skill sets that are needed in your pursuit of a tech career. Give us a shout here.
About the author: Oke Tope is one of WayMaker Digital’s User Experience Designers. His keen attention to detail and a broad range of imagination are his primary motivations for pursuing a design career in the tech industry. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming and taking road trips. 🙂