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A Website Wireframe Guide

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We’ve all encountered apps and websites that frustrate us. Fundamentally, UI for web enables a user to complete the task with ease, as confusion breeds chaos. Any good UI for web will be invisible to the user – clean design and clever use of elements calm the user. As the saying goes first impression is the last impression, the end-user either likes what they use or they move on seeking the same elsewhere.

Building an exemplary website isn’t just about looks. It’s about an attachment between the user and their experience. If you’d dig deeper, you would realise that UI for web is quite an intricate field that involves expecting the user needs and then creating an interface that understands and fulfils those needs. UI for web not only focuses on aesthetics but also on maximising responsiveness, accessibility and efficiency.

Any good UI for web can turn potential visitors into regular users as it expedites interactions between the user and the system. Many website wireframe examples reflect great UI for web.

That’s what we will be discussing in this post – Website wireframes!

Wireframe and mockup

When one pictures the design process of an app/a website, they think of UI for web and the complex coding behind it. The design process starts in a much simpler way.

Low-fidelity wireframing is an invaluable tool for outlining designs. Whether one is drafting on a piece of paper or using a digital canvas, wireframes help UX designer/team to collaborate and shape the product before developing those ideas into a realistic model.

When designing an app/website, several planning tools are used to iterate these ideas to outline possible solutions. Three levels of visual outlines are wireframes, mockups, and prototypes. But in this post, we will only be talking about wireframe and mockup. One must understand that each solution helps UX designer/team chart and conceive their design plans with varying degrees of detail and functionality.

What is a wireframe?

A wireframe is a framework that outlines the basic design and functions of UI for web. A wireframe for website communicates three different goals:

  • Contents of the product.
  • Structure and layout.
  • Functions of the product.

A wireframe for website simply describes its structure, content, and functions.

As the skeleton of UI for web, wireframes can be low-fidelity or high-fidelity, depending on the requirements. The only difference between the two is attention to detail.

One of the best web tools available right now for wireframing is Balsamiq wireframe tool. Balsamiq is a web-based wireframing tool that works best for static and low-fidelity prototypes. UX designer/team and product managers who use this tool due to its ease-to-use feature. It is also priced reasonably compared to other enterprise solutions in the market. Balsamiq wireframe tool is a choice for many who draft a product concept in the early stages of development. Balsamiq wireframes offer project-based pricing that ranges from two projects for $9 per month to 200 projects for $199 per month.

For website wireframe free download in PDF, click here.

What is a mockup?

A mockup is an in-depth iteration of the UI for web. It is a static wireframe with eloquent visual details of the UI for web to present a realistic model of the product. If you think of a wireframe as a blueprint, then a mockup becomes a visual model. A mockup typically includes:

Mockups help preview the look of the final UI for web to stakeholders before committing to building a functional prototype of the product.

Wireframe web design: create your basic UI for web

Conduct research

One must remember that UX design is a process, these first two steps need to be covered first:

This means analysing the competitor’s product to their own to understand the best practices and review design guidelines. If one is designing a new feature in the UI for web, they can try researching outside their domain for inspiration. Creativity is often set loose where fields of expertise intersect.

Keep the research handy

One must keep in mind the quantitative and qualitative data while drafting their wireframes of the UI for web. It is recommended to scribble a cheat sheet to focus their attention on the user’s experience containing

  • Use cases.
  • Business and user goals.
  • Features you stumbled across in your competitor research.
  • Quotes from the target users.

Map out the user flow

Wireframing will become complicated if one doesn’t map out the user flow first. The concept has to be airtight – the channels users will be coming from and where they would end up.

Draft instead of drawing

After going through the first three steps, one can finally start drafting and outlining features and formats. One should not be thinking about aesthetics or even colours. to avoid drowning in detail, one can use a pen or a marker. Just focus on delineating the functional blocks that form the skeleton of the design. While drafting, one should pose the following questions:

  • How to organise the content to support the users’ goals?
  • Which information should be most prominent? Where should the main message go?
  • When the users arrive at the page, what should they see first?
  • Which buttons does the user need to complete their tasks?

After this, one can start making a few variations with their colleagues.

Add details and start testing

With a flow and screens, the next step is to add details to prepare the wireframe to become a mockup and later to a prototype.

Just remember that the wireframe for website is a skeleton. It is advised to not add content at the moment. Try the following:

  • Putting the navigation at the top next to the search bar.
  • Instructional wording like call-to-action.
  • Trust-building elements: What kind of an interface would allow the users to establish trust?

Once it is done, ask your colleagues to test it. Tools like UsabilityHub to come to mind at such times to test screens and gather feedback. Other tools like Prott can be used to connect user button overlays over hand-sketched wireframes.

Turning those wireframes into prototypes

Once the wireframe is iterated based on feedback and presented a colourful mockup to the higher up, its time to develop high-fidelity prototypes. Here are some click tools to get you started:

Now that it is clear how to start creating a wireframe, remember wireframe for website is a guide to of framework and its navigation.

At this point, you must still be flustered about the relation between wireframing to prototyping. Don’t worry, just click here.

Conclusion

Creating wireframes of the UI for web is a crucial step. Any potential flaws in the design can be remedied, better prototypes with a solid structure can be designed. As I mentioned earlier, to design a UI for web from scratch, wireframes are imperative.

If you are running short on time, then you can download our wireframe template, so you can build from there!

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