A few weeks ago, I was having a new-normal day, sitting in my pyjamas and attending work from home meetings. And then, my boss assigned me a job that I have never done before or thought of doing.
I was told by my boss to create wireframes. Having no clue what that is, I rushed to our digital guru called google, and it did not take me long to figure out that it’s straightforward and essential to creating wireframes.
There might be many people who would this process calling it trivial or a waste.
But I have an advice for you.
DON’T SKIP THIS PROCESS.
Coming from personal experience, I will be telling you how to create wireframes. Before getting into that, let’s establish what wireframes are.
what is a wireframe?
Wireframes are blueprints that do the work of a visual guide representing the basic framework of a UI/UX. Think of it as a screen blueprint.
Wireframes have the simple purpose of arranging elements in the best possible way. It serves as a skeletal framework for various mobile apps and websites. The wireframes can act as the user manual for building your website once designed.
Now let’s get into the process!!
How to create Wireframes?
As intimidating as creating wireframes might sound, it is a straightforward process. Having learned through various attempts, I can confidently say that once you get the hang of it, it’s going to be a piece of cake.
So getting into the process, the first step is always extremely crucial.
Before having the experience, I thought it would be an easy and quick process, and everything would fit right in even if I did it haphazardly, however just like a stereotypical individual in a society, nothing was fitting in.
The final product always seems effortless, but the process never is and probably never will be.
So before worrying about the aesthetics, which colour fits where or which image will look good, you need to note down ALL the things that you want your final designs to include. Let us call this step, the first of many, as LISTING.
First, you need to figure out things like does the design need –
- A search bar
- A chat bar
- Online call features
- A Video calling features
Collecting the idea of the design into ONE list is very important. The listing makes the process organized.
Coming to the second step, and a little advice. While we usually focus on the technicalities of user design, the thing that needs more attention is the User experience (UX).
So now, let us establish what does user experience means. In layman’s language, UX refers to what the user will see when they open the app.
Will they easily be able to navigate their necessary action?
Where will they land by clicking this button?
It might sound rigorous and intimidating at first, apart from being ideally candid. The main thing that makes it difficult is that we cannot expect what will come on the internet tomorrow.
Technology is growing like wildfire. It is not an easy job to always remain aware of what’s the next big thing on the internet.
Whenever you are wireframing, keep one thing in mind that there are limitations to user experience as well. UX isn’t doodling that you need to overload it with all the creativity you can muster. UX is quite simple, and with that thought in mind, you need to figure out who your audience is and how to make the experience they have seamless and fun.
By now, I have decided what my design should have and what all it should involve. Now the hard part starts, which is bringing the idea to life.
The most common reason for various artists all over is that there are way too many options.
Since we live in the era of the internet, there are not many ideas left that are unexplored or recorded on the internet. With such a vast amount of data, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Using the internet to your advantage, you can find pre-made templates to start with, and using a variety of options as a reference will be beneficial to make wireframes.
Now the time has come, this is what you have been waiting for, this exact moment.
It is time to build that wireframe!!!
There are many ways for you can create wireframes. Just to let you know, there two types of wireframes
- Low-fidelity wireframes.
- High-fidelity wireframes.
Low-fidelity wireframes are the ones that are physically done by hand-drawing it on any feasible surface, such as whiteboards, sticky notes, slates, etc. There are both upsides and downsides to this process –
- The upside is that it is easier to work on paper while in a group; it’s easy to pass the book and get everyone to help.
- The downside is that it will be harder to create a prototype from just a pen and paper.
Once sketching out the wireframes is over, it’s now time to convert these low-fidelity wireframes into high-fidelity ones and play around with colours to understand the overall look and feel of it.
I should also mention that sometimes we land in a situation where the internet is scarce. In such cases, we have created wireframe journal and sketchpad for web and mobile, for your convenience so you don’t have to waste time trying to connect to the internet. To digitally create wireframes, various software is available such as Adobe XD, InVision, Axure, Figma, Sketch, etc. and it’s better, in my opinion, to try all of these and the eventually settle with the one that best suits your needs. The purpose of the software, as mentioned earlier, are all the same, but the path taken might vary. You can check out our guide to the Best Wireframing Tools.
Now is the time to prototype your idea, just saying it makes me feel smart as Sheldon Cooper for once.
Prototyping is joining the dots, binding your ideas, converting your static wireframes into clickable ones, and implementing them. If you wish to gain an in-depth understanding of wireframes, mockup and prototyping, click here. You can check out our catalogue of Free Prototyping Tools. And finally, testing them as if you are the user yourself.
And now, the time has come to play a confident Harvey Specter and impress everybody in the board room with your prototype that you tried and tested.
Why Wireframes Are Never Considered To Be The Blueprint For Design?
The most important thing to remember while you are journaling wireframe is to remember that wireframes are never considered to be the blueprint for design. The reason being wireframes only provide a basic structure of the web-design. The idea behind wireframe is to have clarity regarding your design of the website you are building and how it would look like. Secondly, wireframes are not interactive at all. It is just a tool for communication with the team to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
As we do not live in an ideal world, you have to begin by running this idea through your boss (in a formal manner) to inform him/her that the prototype and presentation are ready. It is the easiest way I could find to explain wireframing. I hope that you enjoyed the article while understanding the process and nuances of the intricate process of making wireframes.