Project Planning and Management

Why Use Wireframes? Streamline Your Next Web Development Project

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| July 12, 2012 Posted in Project Planning and Management

Designing wireframes is an essential component of our web and software development process here at 4mation.

We work closely with our clients to create wireframes prior to commencing graphic design work, and not only does wireframing save our clients time and money, but it results in a higher quality end product.

Some web development agencies don’t bother with wireframes. They start development based on a written specification only, and we believe it’s a (costly!) mistake.

If you’ve ever built a house, you’ll understand how crucial approving plans prior to committing to the project is. Sure you may have a written agreement or scope, but until you see the architects plans, it’s difficult to visualise what the end product is going to look like, and just as importantly – if it’s exactly what you want. Architects plans allow the buyer to view the building layout, request modifications, and approve the plans prior to construction commencing.

When it comes to web design and development, the same principles apply. Wireframes are the web equivalent to architects plans, and just as building plans are plain and are colourless, so are wireframes.  These wireframes showcase functionality and will eventually be turned into an elegant design that provides the best possible user experience.

There are a few key reasons this process assists in enabling us to provide professional, reliable, cost effective web and software development solutions:

1. Visual Layout – Get It Right

Wireframes allow the client to understand where navigation will  be available, where content is displayed and the placement of form elements and other modules the website or system may contain.

2. Eliminate Misunderstandings – Visualise The Processes And Functionality of Your Website/System

Wire-frames are a great opportunity to show how modules work, and visualise the processes involved, eg the process of logging in, working out where the user is taken to after they log in, what the user sees when they are logged in VS when they’re logged out etc. Other common processes include the critical checkout steps a user is taken through when purchasing from an e-commerce website. These steps and the placement of elements can be streamlined during wireframing, and doing this well plays a huge part in determining how successful your site is in converting visitors to customers.

3. Give The Designer What They Need To Succeed

Once the client has approved/signed off on wire-frames, the graphic designer will create the initial graphic design based on a combination of tje mood board/style guide and the wireframes. Having wireframes available enables the designer to know where key elements should be placed, and enables them to focus on creating attractive, elegant, functional designs that really wow your visitors.

4. Full Steam Ahead – Don’t Stress About Development!

Because process and functionality for your site have already been determined or confirmed during wireframing, your web developer can work with confidence knowing exactly what it is they’re building. The processes and functionality they see in the wire-frames are used as the basis for the build. Think of it as the electrical plans of a house that enable the electrician to implement lighting and power distribution!

The points listed above are just a few of the key reasons wireframing should play a major part in the process of developing your next website or web based system.
Sure you could attempt your project without wireframing, but it’s risky! Our clients come to us because we provide reliable, professional web and software development solutions. We take pride in the knowledge that we can deliver great web solutions consistently, and our tried and tested process plays a big part in enabling that to happen.

If you have an upcoming web or software development project that you’d like delivered on time, on budget and bug free, get in touch for a free initial consultation by contacting us or calling 02 9213 1300.

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