Is Wireframing Dead? How Can Its Absence Affect Your Project?

Is Wireframing Dead? How Can Its Absence Affect Your Project?

Remember the kindergarten days when you used to get those coloring books with the outlines of pictures to fill color in? So that you would learn the art in a simplified yet systematic way. Wireframing is a lot like that.

Wireframes are essential for laying out a well-defined schematic plan for any kind of project. In software and web design, they serve the purpose of understanding the client’s requirements and discussing them with the help of a paper sketch that briefly describes the idea.

What are Wireframes Actually?

As the name suggests, these sketches only have wires and a frame, forming a skeleton on which the whole project will be constructed upon. The skeleton is called a Wireframe and it is the architectural roadmap for the developer to present his idea to the client.

1. There is nothing fancy about a wireframe, they are kept as simple and descriptive as possible. Clients with a thing for exactness or a sharp eye for detail can view the wireframe and figure out if this is the thing they want before the developer starts coding. So, in a way, fussing over a wireframe can save a lot of time and effort.

2. At Dikonia, we offer Wireframing and Documentation, as a service. This is because a lot of projects get doomed before even starting if they don’t have an agreeable and semantic wireframe. A well-documented project has a higher success rate than the otherwise. Our designers and developers understand your requirement comprehensively to deliver you a wireframe that will save you from getting lost in the development stage. You can know more about it here.

Why is Wireframing Essential for the Success of a Project?

There is not one but several reasons why wireframes are a matter of serious concern for the clients before they start out with a project. Here are a few points regarding this that are worth mentioning.

Save Time and Money

Getting a wireframe made from the developer side and discussing all your visualizations through the wireframe will save you enormous amounts of time. It will give you a clear idea as to how the developer has comprehended your project and what all things the developer is going to bring to the table. You can select everything you like and discard things you don’t. This will prevent you from altering the final product which is a hell of a pain.

Scalability Friendliness

Every idea, before it is elaborately put on paper has loopholes and pitfalls spread across it. You might be planning a lot of things for your project but you might not end up using everything or you might want to keep a few things for later. In such as scenario, you can make these exceptions in the wireframe. You can keep some space for future additions and clearly lay down how to scale the project to make those accommodations. This will make you much more confident about your idea.

Functionality Description

Wireframes also serve with you a sketch for understanding how will your website, web app or mobile app function. It’ll make things clear between you and developer so that you can make improvements right in the beginning rather than crying at the end of all the mess that has been created.

What Happens if Wireframing is Avoided in a Project?

Let’s consider a scenario, where you as a client, thought that it will be a great idea to skip the wireframe and directly jump onto the development stage. What are all things bound to happen? Let’s take a look!

Unexpected Design

So, one fine day, you get a call from the developer that the initial iteration is ready and you can drop by to have a look at it. You head into the office and you find yourself baffled, looking at what the developer has come up with. It is nowhere near what you discussed and you can’t do anything but to accept it and be careful in the future.

Confusion

You wanted a simple e-commerce site to sell your pet food online with ease. But what the developer has been constructing looks like a catalog for a fine dine restaurant and that too non-vegan. Well, this was bound to happen, because you had not discussed this earlier and now you have a lot of confusion and pet food to deal with.

Prolonged Project

After several compromises and disappointments, you are somewhere on the track that will take you to project delivery. But now you’ll see yourself 6 months off schedule and the surmounting fees that have been incurred in the meanwhile will hurt your wallet as much as it hurts your confidence.

Dissatisfaction

Finally, the project is done and delivered. You have steered yourself out of the cobweb of HTML tags with success. Your website is up and running, and your product catalog shines like the summer sun. But no one is ready to buy from you because the project lacks the essence you wanted to put in it and you face dissatisfaction.

How to Make Wireframes and How to do it Right?

If you are reading this article from the client’s perspective, we understand that you are not the one who is going to make them but a brief knowledge will help you determine their viability.

If you are the developer, here’s how to do it.

Wireframes can be of many types depending on what part of the project they are being used for. For simple UI wireframes, here are a few tips you can follow:

  • Choose a fairly wide area to draw your design. If you are going to draw the wireframe manually, a whiteboard or a large plain sheet of paper will be the best.
  • If you are using a software tool such as UXPin, make sure that the elements of the layout are loosely spaced with clear boundary demarcation.

After that,

  • Identify the key objectives of the project such as business goals, functional requirements, and design specifications.
  • Make a rough model in your mind.
  • Start implementing the model on the paper by drawing one element at a time.
  • Keep labeling things as you move with arrows and indicators wherever required.

Focus on these aspects in the wireframe:

  • Logo and brand identity
  • Content blocks
  • Image Placement
  • Navigational Buttons
  • Menu bar
  • Header and Footer design
  • Functionality Explanation

Voila! In a short time, you’d be able to conceive the project in a whole lot better way and the client will be happy to see what you’ve done. Make sure that you refine the wireframe to meet the client’s perspectives and re-render it as many times as needed. You can make a prototype later on if the client finds it difficult to understand your creation but make sure the client gets the gist of it.

Conclusion

By now, you will agree that a wireframe is very necessary to hold the project together from the very start and avoiding it won’t be a wise experience.

Working as a 3rd party wireframing company we have built several wireframes for web applications and websites alike. From our experience, we can say that it is not a very difficult task but very important one. If a project is hiring a company only to get the wireframing done, you can well estimate the importance of the task.

Here is how a professionally done wireframe looks like:

So, don’t shy from the wireframes and if you feel you need one made from us, we’d be more than happy to offer our services for the same. Kindly contact us to discuss the project and achieve your goals on time, in the budget and with satisfaction. Find more details here.

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  • Connor Germroth

    Wireframing is still alive and will never die

  • John Wright

    Having a planned project is necessary to track your progress, the same could be applied to any website

  • Roy Martin

    Most companies should review their logos because they are outdated. Common we are in 2018..........

  • Layla Hartley

    Creating an e-commerce site requires a lot of skills, that's why wireframing is important.

  • John Huckley

    Informative thanks

  • Paul Gibbons

    Never heard of wireframing but I have learned quite a few things by reading your post

  • Bill L

    Innovative way to advertise your company's services, marketing at its best

  • Craig Starkey

    I've had a look at your website and was impressed with what you guys have to offer

  • Thanks very much Craig :-). Do let me know if we can help you with anything.

  • Daniel Montalvo

    Thank you for the concise explanation

  • Brian Sheridan

    Hey, this is a nice article. I don't think wireframing is dead as it is still used by so many in the product design cycle. It's value is often misunderstood however. There is a view that a wireframe (as opposed to a high fidelity prototype) can underwhelm a client/ manager and for that reason they are sometimes passed over. This is a mistake and it is up to designers to explain the role of wireframes and if your client manager does not appreciate the value of wireframes then you have a problem that you need to solve.

  • Well said Brian, we work on mainly Web and Mobile apps, which are custom built. So we always insist on the first step being the wireframes, that brings a lot of clarity to the client as well as the team. And there are so many good wireframing tools that one can use these days.

  • Thanks Brian, I agree with you. And since we work on mostly custom web and mobile apps, we insist on building wireframes first. It brings lots of clarity for the client as well as the development team. And these days there are so many great tools available for wireframing.

  • Brian Sheridan

    In reply to: Chhavi Firani

    Thanks Chhavi. there are lots of tools out there so there is no excuse for teams to leave wire framing out of the process and once the process is explained to the client then they will have no doubts about the importance of wire framing.

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Chhavi Firani

Tech Expert

Chhavi is the Founder and Partner at Dikonia. She is passionate about delivering beyond expectations and crafting rewarding experiences.  Her company provides innovative IT solutions including custom SaaS offerings that streamline workflow as well as development and design services in keeping with latest buying and market trends. Chhavi holds a Master of Computer Applications from Punjabi University.

   

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