If you have ever worked with a professional web design company, then you’ve probably been through the process of creating and reviewing a wireframe – a simplified black and white outline of your site with dummy text and empty image blocks.
This stage in the design and development journey tends to be a tedious one for business owners and executives. They have a hard time envisioning what’s actually being created and feel anxious to move on. In fact, some creative firms are accommodating them by skipping the wireframe step altogether.
The general feeling seems to be that anything that moves a web design project along faster is an improvement. But, is it really smart to speed through wireframes? Our many years of web design, ranging from simple small business informational sites to large corporate web portals, tell us it isn’t a great idea. To understand why, we need to look at a few of the reasons creating wireframes is so crucial to building effective websites.
Wireframes Help Us to Plan Next Steps More Efficiently
To understand why wireframes are so important to web designers you have to see them for what they are: blueprints for your website.
In the same way you wouldn’t want builders to start constructing your new house or office building without the right visual guide in place, neither should you work with a web design team that doesn’t take the time to sort out their overall layout strategy.
When visitors come to your pages you’re going to want them to see and do certain things. By taking the time to generate a good wireframe you can decide where images will go, how your pages will link with one another, and which calls to action will be most prominent. In other words, you can generate a plan that outlines the ways your website will work within the bigger context of your business goals.
Wireframes Let You Focus on Function Rather Than Aesthetics
One of the best things about designing a new business website is unveiling the graphics and aesthetics to decision-makers who “ooh” and “awe” over what they are seeing. It’s a really fun moment, but it can also distract from other concerns.
When you’re staring at hero images or debating color and font choices you aren’t necessarily thinking about the business goals we’ve already mentioned. The human mind is drawn to aesthetics, and those tend to take priority.
When a web design is created after a wireframe is in place, the visual choices all have meaning. In other words, the elements on your pages don’t just look good, they are placed in specific spots for well-defined reasons. That stops the project from going off track for artistic considerations.
Web Design Wireframes Show You What Isn’t (Yet) There
For various reasons, there might be parts of your business website that won’t or can’t be created by the time it launches. You might have pages for products that don’t exist yet, for example, or upcoming and ongoing events that aren’t ready to be promoted.
If your web design team had to build pages for these topics it would be problematic. However, if they can wireframe them instead you can make sure that all the major parts and pieces will work together without having to insert dummy text, placeholder images, and other ingredients that might either be distracting or even find their way into the finished product.
In other words, building a wireframe makes your website more expandable. It gives you room to grow without forcing you to focus on creative decisions that don’t matter in the short term.
Building Wireframes Speeds Web Development Up
As we hope you’re starting to see, the choice to speed through wireframe development is actually a bit of an illusion. While you might put off a couple of short meetings and reviews, you are also adding hours, days, or even weeks to subsequent stages of the web design process.
If there is a sink or cabinet missing from a building blueprint, it’s going to slow things down if you want to add one in later. The same goes for your web design wireframe. By getting you to think about the point of your website, your overall business goals, and the way different elements are going to be incorporated with one another ahead of time, it makes the whole job faster and more efficient.
Don’t fall for the temptation to skip important web design steps, and refuse to work with a vendor who would be open to such an idea. It might sound convenient in the short term, but it isn’t going to save you any time or money in the end.
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So, if you want to make the most of your time, budget, and opportunities contact the Weblinx team of creative professionals at 630-551-0334 x1 to schedule a free consultation today!