Congratulations, you’ve made it to your first wireframe process! Wireframing can streamline your development project, your time and money and ensuring customer satisfaction. There are a few tips you’ll want to remember when creating your first wireframe, and we’ve compiled them here for your consideration.
1. Choose The Right Tool For The Job
Depending on the project, whether it is an app, software, or a website, you are going to need the right tool for the job. There are many wireframe tools available on the web, but choosing the right one depends on the specific needs of your project.
If you’re developing a website, be sure to choose a wireframe tool that allows collaboration from other team members, allows you to save your work to a cloud, and easily integrates with other software that you’ll be using to finish the site.
The best wireframe tools provide customization and make collaboration and sharing simple. Be sure to look for these features when choosing your tools, and always remember that wireframing is simply a blueprint of the final project.
2. Communicate With Your Team
When you’ve chosen to use your first wireframe tool the best policy to have for the success of your development project is regular, clear communication with the rest of the development team.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of your end of the development process, but communicating with your team is essential to ensuring a smooth workflow. Keep managers up to date with the progress of your project and team members aware of changes your making.
Most of all, be sure that everyone understands the wireframing tool you’re using and how it integrates into the process. If your team has never used wireframe tools before, it might be a good idea to have an introductory meeting about the software.
Be sure to assist your teammates in learning the software, including saving to the cloud and sharing files within the program. A wireframe tool can help unite your team and direct everyone (including clients) to the same end goal.
3. Start With A Sketch
A wireframe is a blueprint, but it’s a digital blueprint. Before you create your wireframe, you’re going to need to have an idea of what the layout of your project will be. Creating a sketch can provide you and your team with a reference from which you can pull and organize ideas in the wireframe tool.
It doesn’t take an artist to create a workable sketch, so don’t be overly concerned if drawing and drafting is not your strong point. The sketch only has to be legible enough to convey your organizational ideas. Include labels for and notes to augment the sketch itself for more clarity.
Creating a roadmap for your development project starting with a sketch can mean the difference between a well organized and streamlined process, and a costly, inefficient project.
4. Forget About Color… For Now
The wireframing process exists to allow for modification of basic elements of your site or software. At this stage in the process, you’re not focusing on the aesthetics of your project. You’re focusing on functionality.
Use the wireframe to ensure that the interface and navigation is effective and simple. The basic foundations of a good website or app are what ultimately decide the satisfaction of its users. You can create an eye-catching website, but if it navigates poorly you may find that your client is unsatisfied.
Site architecture and navigation are among the most important factors of functionality and success of a website or app. Without good organizational practice, the project will handle poorly and generate frustration rather than positive attention.
Once you’ve created an organized system that navigates well, you can focus on the aesthetics of your project. It’s always more cost efficient and simple to work forwards rather than going back to recode the basic architecture of a project.
5. Communicate With Your Client
Equally as important as communicating with your team is communicating with your client. The client sets expectations for the project and ultimately pays your team’s salary for the time they spend working on it. Keeping the client informed makes the process easier for everyone.
Communicating with your client will help you set up a successful wireframe, and ultimately a better final product. Be sure to ask the client to spell out exactly what they’re looking for in the final site or software.
Provide frequent updates for your client to keep them up to date. This will allow for any changes they suggest to be implemented early on in the design process.
Remember that the client is the ultimate authority on the project, and the development team’s job is to facilitate their requests and customizations. A satisfied customer becomes a returning customer and can help spread the word about your company and generate more work for the team.
Having the best tools isn’t the only factor in a successful design process. Staying organized is ultimately the best tip we can give for wireframing. Good organizational skill improves productivity and saves time.
If you choose to use a wireframe on your next project, have your ideas ready before the wireframe process begins, and always double check your work to avoid problems further along in development. Wireframing can save a lot of time and create a sustainable process you’ll adapt for future projects.