What is a Wireframe?
A wireframe is a visual design and representation of each part that a mobile application has. It is a blueprint and a basic visual information manual of the app that you are going to create. Wireframes are usually drawn manually on paper in black and white but digital tools can be used along with software programs for a neat and more presentable and interactive design that can be edited easily along the way.
What is the importance of a Wireframe?
A wireframe is a vital document that enhances communication among your team regarding the app you want to work on with your team members. It translates to the blueprint of your app and gives a clear idea of the expectations you have for the final product. Wireframes hold your expectations, vision, and guidance which can be accessed by your designing team with clear instructions to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings during the process of developing your desired app. It is a kind of a map for your designers to follow to come up with the exact app you had in your mind.
Creating a wireframe is among the first few steps of the design process and usually does not require a huge chunk of time. If you have a clear vision, creating a wireframe is not that hard. It helps your designer in having a clearer understanding of your expectations for the app.
What role does paper-prototyping play in the app development process?
The form and function of paper-prototyping and wireframing are not the same but they can be used interchangeably. Paper-prototyping is usually the next step after you know the who, why, and how of the application you want to create.
Nowadays, making application prototypes using software tools has been quite common, but we cannot underestimate the importance of good ol’ paper prototyping while brainstorming ideas for your work. Whichever way you choose, prototyping and wireframing has proved to be key step in professionally creating an app to avoid having important elements left behind. It makes sure your vision is implemented every step of the way.
What are some basic steps to create an effective wireframe?
1. Come up with a promising blueprint with detailed descriptions of each element
In architecture, the builders cannot come up with a functional building let alone match the expectations of the architect’s vision without a practical framework for them to follow. Similarly, your designers and developers need a systematic framework to implement your directions, for your desired app to come into existence.
A blueprint acts as a systematic direction manual for your designer to follow, to come up with a final product that is functional, practical, and includes all the elements you wanted in your application. This blueprint should be systematic and descriptive, possessing all necessary details regarding each step. This will allow your designers to come up with a structured navigation menu and layout the imagery in popular design platforms like Photoshop.
We advise you to go all-in with the details. You can use words, designs, maps to visualize your ideas for a better understanding. You should consider adding details about functions within the screen, how these functions are carried out and what their outcomes are going to be.
It is helpful to keep in mind that the more details you add to your blueprint, the better. It helps set a strong base for future app development steps. When you have laid out every tiny detail, it will be easier for your designer to come up with an app design that resonates with what you have in mind and convey that to your app developer.
2. Choose high-fidelity wireframing
High-fidelity wireframing translates components like color, structure, and tone you want the app to have. Compared to low-fidelity wireframing, it gives more detail so the designer has all the guidance they need. But, a draw-back about high-fidelity wireframing is that it does not leave room for the designers to add their creativity, on the other hand, it saves time and the final product can be just like the way you envisioned.
3. Make your wireframe is interactive
A good and functional wireframe that is free of any mistakes needs constant rechecking to make sure each respective function is presented on the screen it is meant for. Once you find any errors, make sure to highlight them on those particular screens.
Interactive wireframes transform your static design into an interactive prototype that can help you in every way. You can add and subtract things during the process and be creative. In today’s progressive world, many tools are accessible that enable us to come up with a clickable mockup for any mobile application we want to create.
The purpose of a clickable mockup is to give you an idea of how your app would work at a premature stage give you more insight during the process of development and allow you to make desired changes.
4. Show your designer some apps as examples
If you are inspired by any other apps or you like some features you found in different apps, you should show them to your designer so they can have a better idea and a visual representation of what you want exactly. It is always good to have such references to make working on your app easier.
To Sum it up
Wireframing is the basic body and an idea of your app visualized. Without this basic framework, you cannot expect a smooth app development journey with a final product that is free of problems. Make things easier and more systematic for yourself with a practical wireframe.