Website designing essentially comprises of complex design elements. Designers and developers have to undertake various steps for designing a website. Moreover Complex projects involve careful planning and execution of the design process for a successful website development.
As such it becomes of utmost importance to follow a well structured and step by step process to design and develop websites. Website Wireframing is one such step in the website design process which provides a thorough clarity and understanding about the elements and purpose of website to the clients in a visual format and also serves as a reference for the designers and developers. Website Wireframing enables them to take the right kind of steps for developing excellent websites for their clients.
What it is?
Website Wireframing illustrates the placement of various elements of a web page in a visual manner. It is basically the first step in the website design process. It clearly defines and presents the elements on the different page types of your websites. It helps in the process of website design and development by showcasing the outline of a web page layout. Wireframes can be in the form of rough sketches or they can be created using various tools or software.
Importance and Benefits of Website Wireframing
Wireframes acts as working model and eases the overall designing process for the website designers and developers. It helps the designers to decide what elements they should keep in a web page and what should be their position. Then they can assist in identifying the problem areas which can be removed at an early stage to avoid any further problems. Wireframes come handy for saving the precious time of designers. They can be easily created and modified according to the requirements of the clients and that too in a short time. They provide a great medium for communicating to the clients in a more organized manner and prove an effective tool in sorting any type of site navigation issues quickly and effectively. All in all, wireframes assist in the creation of an effective site.
Wireframes can be used by designers, developers, quality assurance testers and as well as by clients. Designers are the majority users of wireframes. Then it is used by the developers to identify the functional and technical requirements of a site. QA testers use wireframes to write test scripts and clients use them for putting across the specifications and other requirements to the designers.
Many tools are available for Wireframing. Basically you can use the tools in which you are comfortable and that should also give you the desired results depending upon the project requirements. The tools that you can use include Pen and Paper, web based tools such as Cacoo, Mockingbird, Lovely Charts, Google Drawings, Lumzy, etc. You can also use HTML or CSS wireframes which are helping as they also give you a start in coding the actual web pages. Then you can templates and stencils for creating wireframes.
How to create Wireframes?
A wireframe can be simple and it can be a complicated one too depending upon the outcomes desired by you. At the initial level a wireframe can be nothing more than a sketch on a graph paper while on a higher level the wireframes are created digitally with the help of tools and software. In general most of the web pages include elements such as headers, footers, content areas, side bars, search bars, navigation, graphics, and other elements as well. Once you get a thorough idea of what elements your site would have you can start creating the wireframes incorporating those elements.
Process of Wireframing
There are some common fundamental steps involved in creating a wireframe. You can start with a formal design specification document to have knowledge of the elements to be included in the wireframe. Then you can begin designing the wireframes. You can use sketch it on paper or can use software for that purpose. You can experiment with different ideas before you finally settle for one design. Once a basic wireframe is ready, it should be then distributed to rest of the team members for a feedback. Once it is approved, you can share it with the client and then can start working further with the design and development of a website.
So we can now realize the importance of Website Wireframing. It is an integral and important part of website design and development. If properly created and used website wireframes can save lot of time and efforts of designers and developers alike. They can also assist the clients in better communicating their ideas and specifications. It makes them to see, understand the importance and usability of various elements included in the web page and if not satisfied with the design layout and give their feedback to review the wireframe and create a new one according to the project requirements. Hence Website Wireframes provide the essential base on which a great and excellent website can be built.