When you are looking for a new website, any web designer or design agency worth their salt will tell you how important a wireframe is – if it’s not mentioned, walk away – quickly!

Simply put, a wireframe is the foundation that a website is then built on; similar to the foundations of a building, it’s the starting point.

What is a wireframe?

Wireframes allow web designers the chance to present the sitemap and website plan in a simple visual format that everyone can understand. And trust us, it is far easier to get things wrong on a wireframe than on a live website!  After the main architecture of the site has been agreed, a wireframe helps with the look and feel of a site.

Wireframe facts to know

Generally a wireframe is without colour, logos and real content – it is instead an insight to the sites structure and how things will sit within a page. If you are viewing a wireframe for the first time, don’t be alarmed if there is no imagery of yours or dummy text – that is normal!

A wireframe is the perfect place to start thinking about where users would convert, where contact buttons should be placed and what sort of navigational elements the site needs.

Much like blueprints to a new house build, a wireframe gives great insight to how the finished project will look – but does allow for elements to be edited, added or removed.

Four reasons why to wireframe

Clarity

A wireframe gives both designers and their clients a chance to see how a certain feature might look in a website environment – for instance, a light box, a news feed or a live Twitter feed.  By trying it in the wireframe, it can easily be removed or replaced by something else, without a big knock on impact!

Visual Impact

A wireframe takes an agreed sitemap and website plan and turns it into a real layout, on screen in a tangible shape, allowing for edits to be made and any tweaks and additions inserted. Having a wireframe is a great way of making sure that all parties involved are in total unison and on the same page.

Checking Usability

Usability is a key element of any website whether that is B2B or B2C – what good is a website if it isn’t user friendly? A wireframe gives you the chance to have a ’play’ with the site and make sure that all elements are working in a way that users would like and expect.

Working as a team

With a wireframe, brief and website plan, everyone involved with the build will be far more productive – the design team know what is needed from them, content creation is an easier process and creatively, an idea of images will become more evident.  Overall, a website that starts off with a wireframe will yield better results in the design process and typically be completed on time, if not before. (Although don’t hold it against us if there are some unforeseen delays!)

If you’re thinking about a new website, why not have a chat with our friendly team – we’ll provide the tea and biscuits!