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What is a website wireframe – and why do you need one?

When getting started on a website project, it’s easy to want to jump in head first. However, a website wireframe should always be part of your plan.



by
Lead design, UX/CX, UID & brand development
 

If you’re getting started with a shiny new website for your business, it’s important that your web designer begins with a wireframe. Even though you may be overbrimming with exciting ideas, a wireframe is important to making sure your vision comes to life and is easy to maintain, bringing substance to your ideas.

 

What is a wireframe and why do I need it for my website?

Wireframes do exactly what they say on the tin. They are simple black and white layouts outlining the specific size and placement of different elements of your pages, key site features, conversion areas and navigation, so that all areas of your website are accessible and structured. Wireframes may also look a little boring, as they don’t have any colour or specific font choices — so, don’t freak out about the lack of fun design! It’s just there to do an important but basic job.

 

Translating a sitemap to a wireframe

If you’ve been involved with the web design process before as a client, you may have seen a sitemap – the abstract flow of ideas of what is to be included in the site. A wireframe translates these sketched out ideas into a concrete, tangible reference to work from, and keeps you on the same track as your web designer. Where your sitemap may be a rough checklist of what your customers need to have access to, wireframing brings more of the elements together, such as user experience and the kind of content that will fill each page.

 

Outline your key website features

Wireframing specific project features takes away the miscommunication between client and designer, ticking off specific features that need to be included by incorporating them into the wireframe. Then, if a client has questions about a certain feature, they can use the wireframe for reference. This can also lead to a new direction of the project – once seen in black and white, it may become clear that a certain feature really isn’t necessary, or the copywriting content needs to be adapted to fit the flow of the page.

 

Prioritising website usability

At Eonic, we’re always pushing accessibility to the forefront with the designs that we deliver for our clients, and wireframing makes this step all the more easier thanks to the overall improvement in usability. It allows the team to look clearly at the website’s ease of use through navigation and features, and brings up issues that may not have been noticed otherwise.

 

Wireframes save time on the entire project

Despite creating a website wireframe being another step in the web design process, we really believe that it saves time overall. The designs we deliver are more calculated and the client, development team, marketing team and designers are all on the same page as to what the website needs to look like, the goals of the site, and what the key messaging needs to be. That’s a pretty integral step in our book!

 

Wireframes give a robust idea of a website’s goal and whether it needs to be more of a focus on conversion or just an enjoyable, navigable web experience. In the long term, it’s far more time-saving to all involved in the project to create an adjustable and understandable framework. F rom our experience at Eonic in creating thought-out websites that deliver our clients’ visions, wireframes are an important part of our design process. If you’d like advice about creating a site built from our comprehensive process for your business, do get in touch .

 

Based in Kent, Eonic offers digital strategy, web design and development, marketing and hosting support to businesses across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Greater London.