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    Wireframing: Yes, You Can! (And Should)

    The Blueprint for Web Success

    In putting together a new website or app, there are many business decisions to be made along the way. Sometimes businesses are tempted by change for the sake of change, adding in tech just because it’s cool, or a “modern” design just because it’s trendy.

    RELATED: 3 Reasons to Renovate Your Website

    But if your website is neither functional nor user-friendly, it’s not going to increase sales, traffic, or conversions. Though there is a time and a place for focusing on fanciful designs and flashing animations, the heart and soul of your web user experience is what matters, and wireframing can begin to solidify that. Build from a blueprint using these tips, and your website will be fleshed out with purposeful simplicity.

    Wireframing 101

    A wireframe is a basic, visual concept of a user interface that defines key user goals and content hierarchy. Often, they’re unrefined sketches or concepts made on grid paper, whiteboards, desktop programs, and other web-based tools. There is no perfect way to perform this vital step.

    Acting as a “blueprint,” wireframes serve as the bones of your design and development processes. Wireframing should come after discovery and before getting into the nitty-gritty details of design.

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    Wireframe concepts are meant to be thoughtful, fast and fluid, representing a kind of visual brainstorm for internal and external teams. They enrich the conversation around how users will engage with your interface. Wireframes help answer those brewing questions of functionality by taking the abstract ideas from the planning phase and arranging them meaningfully.

    Talking with a “Wiry” Voice

    Wireframes are often developed in black and white; it’s not the time for discussing color palettes, font choices, imagery, and even branding. The discussion around wires includes:
    Content: deciding what should and shouldn’t be displayed
    Information hierarchy: arranging that content meaningfully
    Functionality: investigating potential action-oriented components
    Structure: interconnecting all parts to work seamlessly together
    Behavior: evaluating how the user is impacted in their product experience

    Wireframing is a time-saver in the long-term, keeping usability headaches or graphical head-scratchers down the road at bay. In other words, you’ll know very early what’s going on your B2B site, where it’s going, and why it’s important. By taking the time to work through wireframes, it’s much easier to throw out large blocks of content and alter key sections, instead of having to change the design concept down the road.

    Wiring in the Right People

    User interface and user experience designers or information architects are primarily responsible for the creation of wireframes by balancing the larger goals against the user’s needs. During this time, wireframing can inspire the creative and development processes.

    woman writing on white board

    Developers and designers will use the wires to reduce the learning curve around site implementations and enhancements. Internal project managers assess the wires to ensure the process is within scope and strategy.

    Down to the Wire: Final Thoughts

    If you’ve ever jumped into a website and realized it was challenging to navigate, or been part of a website development project that went awry, a wireframe should become your new best friend. The process of wireframing a website is a tried and true method to help tackle the challenges for your B2B website.


    FAQs

    What is a wireframe?

    A wireframe is a basic visual concept of a user interface, defining user goals and content hierarchy.

    Why are wireframes important?

    Wireframes serve as the blueprint for web design, ensuring functionality and usability.

    When should wireframing be done?

    Wireframing comes after discovery and before detailed design.

    What does wireframing focus on?

    Wireframes prioritize content, hierarchy, functionality, structure, and behavior.

    Who creates wireframes?

    User interface designers and information architects are responsible for wireframes.

    How do wireframes benefit web projects?

    Wireframes save time by clarifying design and functionality early in the process.

    About The Author

    Elton Mayfield

    Elton's career spans media, production, digital and building industry expertise. His diverse experience makes him nimble, innovative, and curious – always pushing the envelope to create extraordinary work that delivers real results for our clients.

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