We have all had our fair share of encounters with clearly outdated web designs. Heck, I looked up a technical university’s website just last week to be greeted by an HTML style layout, overflowing with 9pt sized font. It is no surprise to say that I spent no more than a few seconds on the page before finding my information elsewhere.
My point here is that the design and layout of your website is crucial to attracting the right people to engage with your content long enough for a two-way exchange of value to occur.
One way to make sure your website keeps up to date and stands out is harnessing the power of ‘wireframing’.
So what is wireframing?
Put simply; it is a way to structurally design your website. It is essential in UI design as it is a way to plan where the visual elements on your web page will appear before creative elements are added to the web page.
What are the advantages of wireframing?
1. Makes iteration more streamlined
If you chose to do a concept design when planning your website, change would have to be taken away by the design team, edited extensively and then resubmitted for approval each time design suggestions are made. This is a tedious process that can take a lot of time, money and frustration.
Because wireframing is merely the physical structure of a website, it is faster, easier AND cheaper to iterate the wireframes to a final version before any physical design work takes place. It can be manipulated and tweaked simply and efficiently; this means no more unnecessary design compromises.
2. Helps you focus on usability
This has to be one of the essential benefits of wireframing. Usability is a significant determinant of the amount of time visitors spend on your website. If your design is confusing and hard to follow, you can expect to see some high bounce rates. Wireframing forces you to focus on the skeleton of your website; it removes all other design elements to allow your team to focus solely on the website’s flow.
3. Makes content generation more effective
We are all acutely aware that unattractive content on websites looks unprofessional, receives far less traffic and hurts your brand image. This is why it is crucial to plan the design of your website to be most attractive to your audience. Wireframing, in this case, comes to the rescue again. It allows your team to optimise on-page elements to be more aesthetically pleasing to your visitors.
4. Allows you to prioritise website elements
Wireframing is a great way to get your team to prioritise the website’s content that is most applicable to your visitors and how this will be visually represented across devices.
Are there disadvantages of wireframing?
Like any process, there is always going to be pros and cons. However, the cons are relatively easy to workaround. However, you should be aware of them, so your team can plan adequately.
1. Can lead to over-designing
Just like a great homemade pizza, sometimes less is more. However, some people can fall victim to over-analysis and thus put far too much time into this process than necessary. The wireframing step in design should be a quick and straightforward way to map out the flow of the website. It should not be a process that takes significant time and resources.
2. Has some design limitations
When a wireframe has been selected and committed to, there is limited creative change for your designers. They must act within the established skeleton of the website. This is why it is essential to involve your designers throughout the process.
In terms of growth, wireframes allow you to significantly reduce the risk associated with web design and is crucial in helping you settle on a design that is built around your visitors’ needs.
Need help with your website?
If you are like the many companies out there looking to evolve their website, be sure to reach out to SAPHI engineering for a consultation. If we cannot help, we will make sure to find services which might. Our goal is solving your software problems, no matter what.
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Thank you everyone!