Wireframe in Software Development

A Comprehensive Guide on Wireframe in Software Development

Introduction

Software and Web development is like constructing a house. You hire the best person for the job. You want someone with knowledge and experience and also want to ensure that there is the right process to get the work complete at the right time and prescribed budget. It is through a blueprint that you make sure that the above process gets carried out. Similarly, Wireframing acts as a blueprint for Web and CRM Software development.

A Brief explanation of Wireframing

Wireframing is an illustration, and it acts as a layout that shows the elements in the interface of a webpage or software. It plays an essential part in the interaction design process. Wireframing aims to show the visual representation of the page in the early development of a project. The purpose behind this is to get the approval of all members and stakeholders in the project team. Wireframes also get used in the creation of secondary and global navigation that ensures the structures and terminology in the website meet the expectations of the users.

Wireframing, Mockups, and Prototyping

  • Wireframing

Wireframe acts as a website’s basic structure. It focuses on functionalities and depicts the main buttons, navigation, columns, etc. A wireframe is akin to a blueprint of architectural design.

  • Mockups

Mockups show a realistic representation of a product. It focuses on details, aspects such as color, icons, images, charts, fonts that get looked out in mockups.

  • Prototypes

Prototypes provide a high fidelity visual representation of a project. They are a valuable addition to mockups. Prototypes show a product exactly to how it will look in its final form. It connects wireframes, buttons to their landing pages, layering drop-down menus, etc.

Wireframing, Mockups, and Prototypes are the three stages in the process of developing a product.

The benefits of wireframing for mobile apps

Wireframing gives clarity regarding how an app will look and function. People will get a precise idea of your app. You can make any changes you want in the earlier stages of app development, which will save the overall cost. Wireframing also eases the project transitioning. If you are wireframing for mobile, do think about the platform (Android or iOS) on which you will launch the product.

Important points to remember during wireframing

Wireframes will show you where the elements and content of an app or a website will display on the page. The aim is not to focus on visual design, hence keep it simple, as it will save time and effort. We will share some tips that will help you with wireframing.

  • Start with low fidelity, simple wireframes.
  • Don’t use colors, use grayscale to show the difference.
  • You don’t need images, go for geometrical shapes instead to show a general idea.
  • During wireframing, go for generic font and keep it the same throughout the process. Typography is not necessary for the wireframing process.
  • Avoid wireframing every page. There is no need for it.

Wireframing is about solving problems and blueprinting interfaces. Similar to other processes, there will be problems if you don’t properly understand the process.

Essential features in Wireframes

Features depend on the types of app or websites that a developer is building. Certain features get included as standard wireframing features such as header, footer, logo, search fields, navigation systems, body content, share buttons, and breadcrumbs.

Different examples of Wireframes

There can be different types of wireframes due to their production process, for example, computer drawn images or paper sketches. Low fidelity wireframes and high fidelity wireframes are two frequently used terms for the wireframes.

  • Low fidelity wireframes

They are quick and easy to develop and help in promoting team communication. Low fidelity wireframes have simple images and lorem ipsum text as a filler.

  • High fidelity wireframes

They are ideal for documentation due to the increased level of detail. High fidelity wireframes have information about everything on the page.

Advantages of Wireframing

  • Wireframing performs an essential function in communication during the app or web development. Developers, Clients, designers get a clear understanding of the structure of the app or website.
  • Ideas are easy to communicate with the help of wireframes.
  • Wireframes contribute to the clarity of the projects, and you can go through all the layout and interaction needs.
  • Developing a content design is easy with the help of wireframes.
  • Wireframes guide the clients for their specifications and help them define their main focus and project goals.
  • Wireframes help gather feedback for the product from the initial stage.
  • Designers can develop layouts for a website’s many sections with the help of wireframes. It makes the creative process more fluid.

Essential steps while wireframing

  • Research how others are wireframing. It will guide you in finding inspiration.
  • There are many tools for developing wireframes. Select one based on your preference.
  • Many grid templates are free to download. Users can also customize a grid template of their own with the help of UI-grid, Telerik, etc.
  • Decide on a layout. In this stage, include your client in case they find any errors or want changes.
  • Create a prototype out of it.

Popular tools for developing wireframes

We are going to share a list of popular wireframing tools that you can use for developing wireframes.

Conclusion

As a developer, wireframing is an essential skill to learn. Having a holistic strategy in wireframing is the groundwork for mastering the basics of product design. It will help you in becoming a successful product manager and having a flourishing career in this field.

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