Wireframing is the best way to get started on a website design. It ensures the functionality and usability of your website and streamlines the web design process.
In this post, we will discuss what a wireframe is, how and when to use it, and how you can build your own.
Use Venngage’s Diagram Maker and wireframe templates to create wireframes that will bring clarity to your web projects.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is a wireframe UI?
- What is a wireframe UI used for?
- When do you need a wireframe for your UI?
- 4 steps to create a wireframe
- How to use Venngage wireframe UI templates
- What are some wireframe UI mistakes to avoid?
- FAQs about wireframes
What is a wireframe UI?
A wireframe is a simple and clear illustration of a webpage’s user interface (UI).
Wireframing in UI design focuses on the arrangement of elements and content placement. It features fundamental parts like headers, footers, buttons, menus, and the body of your website.
Here is an example of a wireframe template. As you can see, it makes use of shapes and text boxes:
The main goal in creating a wireframe is to show how your website will function, how users will move through your website, and what information they will see first.
A great user experience is the main indicator of a successful website, and skipping the wireframe process can result in poor UI design and affect user experience.
Because wireframes show the simplest version of user interfaces, you can prioritize improving user experience without being distracted by colors, fonts, and other things concerning visual design.
What is a wireframe UI used for?
Essentially, wireframes act as a visual guide for your website design process. Aside from displaying the structure and organizing the elements of your website design, they can be used for:
- Visualizing complex features
- Clarifying and finalizing elements and features before development
- Making changes and adjustments to the UI design
- Solving navigation and functionality problems
- Assessing website responsiveness
- Guiding content development
Here is an example of a wireframe template that can be used as a guide for the content of an about page:
Moreover, wireframes can also be used in the interaction design process (IxD), which involves creating solutions that are centered on users’ needs.
Wireframes can help clients get a better idea of what their goals really are and what their primary focus should be in order to address user and business needs. An example is whether a website should focus on features or content.
This then helps designers get user and client approval more easily and move forward to the development stage faster.
Impress clients with a wireframe that already contains their brand assets. Use Venngage’s My Brand Kit feature to import logos, colors, and fonts that you can apply to digital wireframes in just one click.
When do you need a wireframe for your UI?
When it comes to UI design, it’s not smart to jump straight into the design or development stage without testing your ideas first.
You need a wireframe early on in the planning stage to find out if the design will actually work.
Getting the design right during this stage can minimize the possibilities of additional redesigns and therefore saves you time, effort, and money.
4 steps to create a wireframe:
You can create a wireframe by doing a simple sketch or with an easy-to-use design tool. Follow these steps to start creating your wireframe:
Identify a user persona
Before you start on your wireframe, it is crucial to define first who exactly will be using your website. A user persona is a profile that captures the needs and behavior of your typical or ideal customer.
Your user persona will work as a point of reference from which you will base your website flow.
For example, your typical user may be a fashion consumer who tends to rapidly click through photos and scan reviews.
You can match this behavior by making product photos and reviews prominent on your website, which should be reflected in your wireframe.
Check out this wireframe template that is created for feminine personas:
Plan your site navigation
Once you have determined who your user will be, now you can plan where you want them to go when visiting your website.
Your navigation determines where users will initially land on the site and how they will complete the conversion goal, whether it be to purchase a product, sign up for a newsletter, or fill out a contact form.
The key is to come up with navigation that will provide the user with the easiest way to get to their goal, like in this wireframe template.
The user lands on the home page and gets access to the products immediately with navigation menus that display product categories.
Create your wireframe design
Now that you have created your ideal user flow, it’s time to put it in visual terms. Start creating text boxes to represent page elements like the header, navigation menu, sidebar, and main content area all the way to the footer.
Add emphasis to the clickable elements such as buttons to make them more prominent. Label each part of the page with the actual copy and not just placeholders, like in this template:
You can also provide details about what kind of information needs to be included, like whether the area designated for a video would contain a welcome video or your product highlights.
Show all the steps the user will go through to reach their final destination. For example, include all the fields that they need to complete before they can place an order.
Consider where to place user login areas, search boxes, and other main sections that need to be displayed. No need to indicate design elements like fonts and color schemes; simply focus on the anatomy of the webpage.
Test your wireframe
Finally, when your wireframe is complete, you can then carry out usability testing, test the functionality of the website layout that you have created.
Meet with your team to share feedback and discuss possible revisions. Many development teams also carry out usability testing, which involves testing wireframes through a focus group that represents potential end-users.
Here is a wireframe template from Venngage that you can easily customize:
By doing this, you can gain insight into whether or not your design works from a user’s point of view.
One way to help a UI designer work more efficiently is to illustrate your wireframe with icons. This demonstrates the information architecture at the very beginning of the design phase.
With Venngage, you have access to over 40,000 icons that you can easily swap or add to wireframe templates. Double-click the icon you want to change and choose a suitable option from the library.
How to use Venngage wireframe UI templates
With Venngage, you can create professional mockups and diagrams even without design experience. Here’s how you can create your wireframe in 3 easy steps using Venngage’s Diagram Maker and template library:
Step 1: Select a wireframe template
By creating an account, you can use the Diagram Maker for free and choose from dozens of wireframe templates that are completely customizable.
Step 2: Customize the elements
Next, edit the template to make the shapes and labels reflect the sections of your webpage.
With Venngage’s drag-and-drop editor, creating new shapes and changing the design takes seconds. Choose from 40,000+ icons or change the colors in your wireframe.
Add your company branding with the My Brand Kit feature. logo for additional detail.
Step 3: Share your wireframe
Real-time collaboration is a paid feature that allows your teammates to contribute directly to your work, which makes getting and applying feedback more convenient.
After customizing and completing all the details of your wireframe, you can then download (paid plans only) or share it online via email or social media (free).
What are some wireframe UI mistakes to avoid?
To make a successful wireframe, avoid these 3 common mistakes during the wireframe creation process:
- Focusing on visual design instead of structure. Wireframing is more about the layout and content hierarchy of a webpage. Keep from including design elements like colors and fonts in your wireframe as much as possible. Try to work in grayscale to help you focus on functionality. Here is an example of an effective wireframe with a grayscale display:
- Adding too much detail. Your wireframe should show the most basic form of your webpage. Adding a lot of details can distract the team, specifically the designers, from the most important components of your website. Low-fidelity wireframes are stripped-down wireframes with rough layout schemes that focus on structure. This type of wireframe is the most ideal to produce.
- Wireframing every webpage. You don’t need to create a wireframe for every page on your website. Your wireframe only needs to show the main user journey through the most essential parts of the user interface design.
FAQs about wireframes
Are wireframes part of the UI or UX?
Wireframes consist of the core functionality of a website. Although they display the user interface to determine usability and efficiency, wireframes are created for improving the user experience. This means that wireframes are part of both the UI and UX design.
What is UI used for?
When you open an app or visit a website and you see all the features and content laid out in front of you, that is the UI. The UI or user interface is the space where humans interact with a computer or system. It is used in user interface design with the goal of making it easy and efficient for users to perform actions and engage with the system.
What is the difference between wireframing and prototyping?
In wireframing, you are modeling the basic layout and structure of a webpage. Meanwhile, prototypes are basically high-fidelity wireframes, which are advanced wireframes that demonstrate interaction and have more visual detail. Prototypes model the final user interface of your website and are used in a prototype usability test.
In conclusion: Building a wireframe is more convenient and efficient with Venngage
With an intuitive platform like Venngage, you can create a wireframe that will effectively capture the usability and key elements of your user interface.
Create a wireframe for your next web design project using Venngage’s Diagram Maker.