What are Website Wireframes?
What is a website wireframe? In its essence a website wireframe is a communication tool to be shared with clients, it allows for easy changes, updates and revisions saves time and money. An essential step after figuring out your information architecture and navigation let’s define what a wireframe is; sometimes website wireframes, mockups and prototype terms are interchangeably used and it’s no harm to use it, though it has some theoretical differences but it doesn’t matter at all.
After clinical advancements in the web technologies and emerging client demands, top web design firms started to make a coded website which lacks the full functionality and graphics. That website had the power of links which make it a dynamic website prototype before the actual coding. Some people just preferred the old fashioned way of just making an illustration just like me, some chose modern way of website wireframing with the help of website wireframe tools in order to show the working of the future website before it happens in the web womb. It all depends upon you what do you choose and what would be more feasible to you.
We discussed about what is website wireframing and now discussing that what are the key tips required while designing a website wireframe for a client. These tips are compulsory for every serious freelancer out there!
Key Tips of Successful Website Wireframes
Website mockups needs to be simple typically it needs to be just black and white. It needs to be drawn to size and proportion and it needs to include your navigation too. There are a lot of free website wireframing tools out there that can actually make your links active. Let me show you an example,
Here’s an example of a website wireframe, you can see the different color backgrounds but the components are just in black and white. It’s got your header, navigation, login information, boxed out squares representing images and it’s actually kind of a detailed website wireframe before an actual working coded website.
You can also use actual headlines and something fake text just to show the viewer what it will look like. If you are having the right type of software – you could make your links clickable and make them live as a whole so you can actually navigate right through your website websites just like navigating between blog page, contact page and other pages designed in your website wireframe.
Keep it simple:
You don’t have to make it a rainbow colored website, just use 1 or 2 colors avoiding fancy fonts and making it justified with alignment and tailor it just as you would like a website to be.
Clear your goals:
Don’t just start before planning anything. What is the purpose of your website? Are you demanding anything from the visitor/customer/subscriber? What do you want to achieve ultimately from this website? Try going deep into your plans, work them out into a flow diagram and brainstorm other ideas. This will help you to conquer the facts of your goals and how those goals are achievable.
Make and remake:
You shouldn’t be relying on one website wireframe; it becomes more important to design multiple wireframes when working with a client. You aren’t the buyer and so you have to deliver what the customer/client says and yeh it isn’t hard to draw multiple website wireframes though. Just shuffle the layout according to needs, use various color combinations and voila you have designed the multiples.
Ask for suggestions:
You know, a person is never been a perfect. Think of a teacher teaching PHD students have also been a student in past. So, it never harms your ego if you ask for a suggestion on your website wireframe design. The best places to have quality suggestions are graphicdesign.stackoverflow, behance and reddit.
Website Wireframing Tools
Now, let’s talk about the practical thing. Website Wireframes can be designed in any simplest wireframe tool or wireframing software even on the paint provided you aren’t using the modern technique of wireframing websites.
You build wireframes and prototype websites to communicate your ideas. Sometimes a simple website wireframe is enough, other times you need to model more complex interactions. In the case, a proper tool is needed to guarantee a stable and editable website wireframe. Let’s see some of the popular and recognized free and paid wireframing tools.
Let’s just peek out some of the famous best paid and free wireframing tools on the web.
One of the popular and best website wireframe tool is ‘ProtoShare‘ provides a powerful yet easy to use editor that makes it easy to build and share everything from simple website wireframes to complex prototypes. And ProtoShare’s review tools keep you and your stakeholders focused, keeping all your feedback and revisions in one place. By getting everyone on the same page you can manage project complexity and avoid costly late-stage rework. Let’s take a closer look at the ProtoShare features
Paid: Yes (starts from $29/m)
Trial: Yes (30 days trial)
Free Version: Yes (limited featured tool)
- Drag and drop components widget
- Advanced HTML editor
- Pre-defined libraries/components included
- Responsive website wireframe builder
- Live view feature
- Real time page update
- Tracking of documents
One of the most popular ui wireframing tools among designers is Balsamiq. Pretty fast and appealing interface to design your website wireframe. It is packed with great features and awesome editable area to experiment various clean designs fast and steadily. Some of the key features include:
Paid: Yes (Single user license $89)
Trial: Yes (30 days trial)
Free Version: No
- Iterate design versions painlessly
- Collaboration team features
- Sketch theme components
- Tons of UI elements
- Clean and presentable interface
Another modern website wireframing tool called ‘Invision App’ has a greater influence on the design community. Due to its modern UI elements and powerful communication features, Invision is more popular among enterprise companies and allows more professional and natural occuring website wireframe templates. Let’s peek into some of its great features:
Paid: Yes (starts from $15/m)
Trial: Yes (only for enterprise package)
Free Version: Yes (limited to 1 project)
- Static images to dynamic website wireframe converter
- Real-time design presentation & collaboration
- Seamless design communication
- Powerful sync feature
- Awesome responsive wireframing