Using a wireframe is an excellent way to map out your new software as it is under development. A wireframe plays a key role in information architecture by giving the developer a “preview” of sorts on how the software will be organized. Here are five ways that wireframe is unique in software development.
1. Wireframing Is Integral To The UX Process
Wireframing focuses on creating usability within a particular design, allowing for concentration on the software’s functionality. When you use a wireframe, you’re creating a blueprint for the arrangement of your software in order to map out the rest of its features.
Without utilizing the wireframe process, the UI of the software can become an afterthought of sorts, as the design team focuses more on the aesthetics of the software rather than how it will function.
User experience is not something to be neglected. A satisfactory UX can determine the lifespan of your software, and good UX design makes for sustainable and profitable products. Don’t forget the final user when you’re designing, and use a wireframe to map out the software’s organization before adding graphics or colors.
2. It Bridges The Gap Between Client And Developer
It the early stages of design, you’ll want your client to be familiar with the software they’ve enlisted your team to develop. Wireframing is an excellent resource for doing just that. It provides a visual for the client to interact with and suggest changes.
Your client is the ultimate decision maker when it comes to the way the software looks and is used, but they’re not always familiar with the development process and design.
If you have a client that is not familiar with the IT field, a good wireframe will provide them with everything they need to know about how the software will navigate. This allows for usability edits early on in the design process.
Include your client during the wireframing process so that you won’t have to go back and edit the layout of the design later on. This is not very cost efficient or time scale friendly, and can set the team back a few hours or even days on a project.
3. Details Are Ignored Until Later On
Wireframe tools are not used to work out the fine details of your software. In fact, this is where many developers lose their way and end up spending too much time on the details of a project before the initial structures are fully designed.
During software development, your wireframe tool is used to map the layout of the software and to focus on the usability of the software. This includes designing effective UI, mapping out important structures within the software, and giving the client a visual as the software is developed.
The details are pushed back until a solid UI is created and the basic architecture of the project is in place. Once everything is mapped out and approved by the client and your UI functions well, you can then begin to focus on details.
4. It Helps With Graphics
When you create a good UI for your software, it makes integrating elements such as graphics, videos, or animations much simpler. You’ve already mapped out where the elements go and how they blend together.
Figuring out how texts blend together and where a video should go (or not go) makes for a better user interface overall. Blocky text, texts that clash and elements that just don’t quite blend well can create an unattractive interface, and turn away prospective users.
By sorting these elements using a wireframe, the design team has no problem dragging and dropping elements into their corresponding placeholders and creating a seamless design for your client.
Your software’s final visage will benefit greatly from an effective wireframing process at the beginning of the project. Without it, you will find that elements don’t flow or function with one another, and your design team may become frustrated with the lack of planning.
Use a wireframe to solve these issues and add an extra element of professionalism to your projects. Your team will thank you for it.
5. Wireframing Improves Collaboration And Sharing
A good development team is one that communicates new ideas effectively and implements those ideas that have been agreed upon. Wireframe tools allow for seamless communication and collaboration via cloud sharing.
By using a cloud-based wireframe tool, your team can easily open the same file and add or remove elements, share updates with clients and managers, and represent ideas to the team in an easily understood visual format.
The days of downloading and uploading files are slowly slipping into the past with real-time cloud-based editing. Many wireframe tools allow multiple users to work on the same project simultaneously, making collaboration easier and more effective than ever.
Wireframing is an essential part of the success of your design process, its significance in any design project cannot be overstated.
When choosing a wireframe tool, look for key features such as cloud-based sharing and editing and easy to use interfaces. Your client will be involved in the wireframe process and should be able to easily comprehend your process and suggest changes as your design.