An Ultimate Guide to Wireframe Design for Beginners

Wireframe design is a process allowing designers to draw an overview of interactive products to build software structure and design solutions. Read the article.

If you are exploring the field of UX design, you might hear the word “wireframes” around. Wireframing is an essential part of the software design process, but what is this and why makes it important? A wireframe is also a great approach to getting to know how end-users interact with the interface through buttons and menus on the diagrams.

Without color distractions, typeface choices, or text, this wireframe allows you to plan the layout and interaction of the interface. In this post, we will give you all you need to know about wireframe design. Besides, we also take a look at the purposes of wireframes and various types of wireframes.

What is wireframe design?

Wireframe design is a practice that allows UX designers to define and plan the information hierarchy of their website, custom app, or product design. So what makes wireframe design different? This process concentrates on how designers or clients want their end-users to process and analyze information on a specific site.

When designing a web application development or custom app, you might know where people display all information. They display information in plain black and white diagrams before building a code. Moreover, wireframe design is a great approach to how an end-user interacts with the interface via buttons and menus on the diagrams. These wireframe design outlines reflect user and business needs. For software development teams, wireframe design allows them to plan the layout and interaction of the interface. Learn how to use a wireframe to define constraints and opportunities, and connect the gap between requirements and feasible solutions. So when designing any software products, software outsourcing services might consider the wireframe design before adding anything.

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Different purpose of wireframe design

There are three main purposes of wireframe design. They can be keeping the concept user-focused, clarifying and defining website features, and creating a quick design frame.

Software outsourcing development team

Wireframe design follows the user-concentrated concept

Following user-focused concept design is one of the main purposes of wireframe design. People use wireframe design as a great communication tool since it helps facilitate feedback from the users and create ideas for designers. Conducting end-user testing in the wireframe stage allows designers to collect feedback, and define pain points helping to develop software product concepts.

Software outsourcing services firms might consider this key purpose of wireframe design, especially during the software development process. Wireframe design is an ideal way for designers to see how the end-user interacts with the interface. This purpose of wireframe design helps designers to understand what is intuitive for end-users, and create software products that are easy to use.

Clarifying and identifying website features 

When delivering business ideas to clients, they might not have updated with terms such as hero image or call-to-action. Wireframe design software features communicate to customers clearly to see how they function and value your websites. For software outsourcing services companies, they may use wireframe design for clarifying website features.

Furthermore, wireframe design also enables stakeholders to measure how much space needs to be allocated for each feature. It connects the information architecture to its visual wireframe design and clarifies the functionality of websites and pages.

Defining the features on a wireframe design allows you to visualize how software development teams, especially designers and even developers work together. You remove a few features if those features don’t work with the others.

Showcasing a quick and cheap wireframe design

Amongst the key purposes of wireframe design, showcasing a quick and cheap design frame is the best. Regarding the software development team, wireframe design is cheap and easy to create. Wireframe design tools support you to build a digital wireframe within minutes. When a software product seems too complex, end-users might be less honest about its first impressions. Thus, observing core page layout, flaws, and pain points help people identify and rectify without much time and money.

What are the types of wireframe?

Let’s discover three major types of wireframe including low-fidelity, mid-fidelity, and high-fidelity wireframe designs.

Low-fidelity wireframe designs

This type of wireframe design is a basic visual showcase of the webpage. It also serves as a design starting point. So it is quite rough without any scale, grid, or pixel accuracy. Low-fidelity wireframe design skips over details that can be a distraction and includes simple images, block shapes, and mock content.

Moreover, this type of wireframe design is useful for starting conversations that identify navigator layout and map end-user flow. It is also useful for designers who do various software development product concepts and want to make a quick decision. So software outsourcing services firms might use low-fidelity wireframe design for simple and quick design in the software development process.

Mid-fidelity wireframe designs 

Mid-fidelity is one of the most common types of wireframe design. It features more accurate representations of the layout. Despite avoiding distractions, they might handle specific components and features that need differentiating from others. Firms providing software outsourcing services will consider using this type of wireframe design software for their software development projects.

With a text, it is essential to separate headings and body content. Despite displaying in black and white, designers use various shades of gray to communicate the visual prominence of elements. Mid-fidelity wireframes help create a digital wireframing tool such as Sketch or Balsamiq.

High-fidelity wireframes

Last but not least, high-fidelity wireframes support software design with pixel-specific layouts. A low-fidelity wireframe includes pseudo-Latin fillers and gray boxes with an X to refer to an image. Meanwhile, this type of wireframe design has actual images and content. Companies providing software outsourcing services use high-fidelity wireframe designs for their software development process.

This type of wireframe design is ideal for software development teams to explore and document complicated concepts regarding menu systems and interactive maps. It is important to use high-fidelity wireframe designs for the latter stages of the design cycle.

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How to create a wireframe

Do research

Researching before creating a wireframe design is the first step of how to create a wireframe. You should understand user search, requirements, use cases, competitors, and industry research.

Prepare the research for references

After researching, you will collect a large amount of quantitative and qualitative information. It is essential to scribble business, user goals (your requirements), personas, use cases, and the features of competitor research.

Ensure you have end-users flow mapped out

The wireframe design may be messy if you don’t have an idea of how many screens you need to produce and end-users flow. It is essential to have a watertight design concept where users are from which marketing channels and what is the customer journey.

During software development projects, the good architecture ensures self-sufficiency and reduces frustration.

Draft and Sketch

Let’s get some wires on the design frame. You are outlining and showcasing features and formats, not illustrating these designs in detail. You don’t need to think about aesthetics, and colors. UI designers will deal with that. When you are sketching, think about the following questions

  • How to organize the content to support the goals?
  • Which information needs to be most prominent?
  • What do users expect to see on certain areas of the website?
  • Which buttons do users need to complete the desired actions?

Add some features and test

The next step is to add information details for its upgrade, Megatron, and to prototype-mode. It is essential to add details from top-to-bottom and left to right. The wireframe design is the skeleton of your site.

Start wireframe design into prototypes

Once designers document and act on the feedback from your prototype, it is ideal for developing the high-fidelity prototype. Many slick tools are Proto.io, Adobe XD, and Framer. However, the most popular wireframe design tool is Sketch and Figma. Developing the wireframe design in Sketch, you import into the industry-leading prototyping tool, InVision, and interlink your screens.

Wireframe design examples for further discussion

Monica Galvan: It represents the transition from low-fidelity to high-fidelity through final UI design for software development.

Elvira Hellenpart’s wireframes: This wireframe design example creates a part of the CareerFoundry UX Fundamentals Program. You can start with a low-fidelity wireframe design and a mobile-first design approach for custom mobile app design.

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Best wireframe design tools for designers

Many wireframe design tools are available, software development teams should experiment to find the most suitable wireframe design tools. Don’t forget that designers can use a pen and paper. Here are three online wireframe design tools that firms providing software outsourcing services might consider.

UXPin – Best wireframe design tools

This wireframe design tool has many functionalities and features. One of the most effective features is how to facilitate building responsive, clickable prototypes directly on your web. So companies providing IT outsourcing services should consider using UXPin for their software development projects.

InVision – An effective free wireframe design tool

InVision supports designers to collect feedback from software development teams and end-users through mock-ups of the design site. Moreover, it is a free wireframe design tool.

Wireframe.cc – Easy to create a wireframe design

This wireframe design tool provides you with advanced technologies to create a wireframe design quickly in your browser. Wireframe.cc considers it as an online version of a pen and paper.

Closing thoughts

Ready to start creating your wireframe design? Wireframe design is an essential part of the UX design process. In this blog post, we have given you everything about wireframe design for software development projects. Hopefully, the information is useful for you, especially for beginners.

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