UI/UX design basics: What is a wireframe of a website?

Someone may ponder, what is a wireframe of a website? Website wireframe, colloquially known as the sketch of the website frame, is a display form for web designers to picturize customer needs in line with web design standards. Also regarded as prototype and frame diagram, a wireframe is a vital part of a web design scheme, the last delivery document of web machinators and project managers, and usually the most intuitionistic and effective mode for design presentation.

  1. Goals of Wireframing

A wireframe is the lo-fi presentation way of a product design. To understand the definition of a website wireframe, we need to know its three simple and direct goals:

A.To present vital information. B.To outline the structure and layout. C.To deliver core visualization and descriptions of user interface interactions.

  1. Visual Characteristics of a Wireframe

A wireframe have obvious limitations on visual characteristics. Generally a wireframe can be finished by using boxes, lines, and a grayscale color palette (to represent different levels of visual hierarchy in the design).

visual characteristics

  1. A Simple Vector Wireframe

The multitude of ultimate content—images, videos, text and so on—is left out for later stages of the procedure. These missing parts of the interface are usually represented by placeholders. Images tend to be represented by crossed boxes and text with Lorem ipsum.

  1. Benefits of Wireframing

To figure out what is a wireframe of a website, the benifits of wireframing need to be understood. It’s rapid and low-cost to make wirefame especially when some dedicated tools are adopted, such as Mockplus, Balsamiq, Axure, which should be used right at the beginning of the design process.

Feedback information collection counts more than a detailed solid wireframe. Why?

Generally speaking, people tend to lay more emphasis on function, information architecture, UX, user flow, usability, user interactions, etc, instead of having these fundamental aspects of a design being overshadowed by its aesthetics.

  1. Interactive Wireframe Designers sometimes prefer to increase the fidelity of the wireframe to emphasize the significance of user interface in some respects, as well as to display and rapidly test the soundness of the interactions among elements. One solution to these problems is to use interactive wireframes, also known as clickable wireframes.

mockplus

Mockplus, which can be used to make both wireframes and prototypes, is highly recommended when a complex wireframe needs to be created. Interactive wireframe can be the most suitable tool in presenting a design to a stakeholder or client. When confronted with the typical question “what happens if I click this button”, all you need to do is to click that button in your interactive wireframe. It’s impressive and engaging.

  1. Being Careful with the Presentation of Wireframes

After the explanation of what is a wireframe of a website, here are some points you need to concern. Look out when you are faced with a total layman. He/she may be your client or a cooperating supervisor without any relative technical expertise. He/she may not know at all that the wireframe can be somewhat different from the final product. Therefore, he/she may be unable to understand the internal connections and operating models of the two. In this situation, whether and how it should be displayed ought to be well handled.

That’s why we need to take some time to explain what a wireframe is — and, more importantly, its significance within the design process — before we show it to individuals that are uninitiated to the concept of wireframes.

wireframe presentation

More articles about creating wireframe:

1.5 Most Easy-to-use Wireframe Design Tools for Free 2.Wireframe Basics for Beginners: An Agency Perspective 3.Axure vs Mockplus vs Balsamiq – Wireframing Design Tool Compariso

13 Best Tools for Creating a Wireframe of a Website

To wireframe your idea is extremely important when you start a project. Creating a wireframe of a website, a necessary step that transfers idea into reality, can make a design process reasonable. Here are 13 best wireframe tools that are highly recommended to you.

  1. Pidoco Pidoco is a prototype design software based on webs and can be used to create clickable wireframes swiftly and also UI prototypes of web site projects, mobile projects, enterprise application projects. With easy usability test module and the functions of smart sharing and collaborative working, this software is easy to use in creating a wireframe of a website.

2.Mockplus Gradually becoming an uprising star in the fierce competition of wireframing, Mockplus is as powerful and cleaner as any other prototyping tools which have been around first in the market.This code-free and easy-to-follow mockup tool can allow users to create or link interactive pages and components with simple drag-and-drop options. This easy-to-use tool owns highly visual interaction settings, 200 well-packaged components and 3000 icons.

Mockplus

  1. Creately Creately is committed to easier group cooperation of creating a wireframe of a website. This great easy-to-use online app can definitely bring you extraordinary user experience and win your favor.

  2. Frame Box Based on browsers, this wireframe tool can typically lay out the system by clicking and dragging components. It can be used to create resizable and easily-adjusted wireframe readily.

  3. Pencil This one is aimed at establishing an untrammeled open source tool applied to diagrammatic and graphic UI prototypes. Its main functions are: inbuilt diagrammatic prototypes, multi-page document background pages, cross-page linking support and rich text editing support.

  4. JustProto JustProto can be used to create interactive prototypes simultaneously by several cooperators. After creating a wireframe of a website, prototypes can be shared with other users and only through page refresh can changes be seen and preview be started.

logo1

  1. Gliffy This wireframe tool is specialized in easily creating a wireframe of a website. By making full use of it, users are allowed to communicate clearly, promote innovation, raise the efficiency of decision-making and work more effectively.

  2. WireframeSketcher WireframeSketcher is helpful for product managers, designers and developers to quickly create desktops, wireframes of webs and apps, entity models and prototypes.

  3. FlairBuilder When designers begin creating a wireframe of a website, layouts and main design elements, such as trademarks, navigations and sidebars, should be sketched to begin with; afterwards, interaction wireframe elements can be added.

  4. Simple Diagrams Simple Diagrams is a mini desktop application which can help designers to express ideas fast and simply.

  5. iPhone Mockup iPhone Mockup can be used to create prototypes with different styles by using illustrations and pencil drawings.

iphone mockup

  1. Justinmind Justinmind is one of the best platforms to make use of creating website wireframes to define webs and apps.

  2. Jumpchart Jumpchart makes it easier to programme the layout and framework. Designers can draw the hierarchical structure of the website quickly through creating some pages and subpages.

Designers can succeed in creating a wireframe of a website by clicking and dragging components.

logo2

More articles about creating wireframe: 1.5 Most Easy-to-use Wireframe Design Tools for Free 2.Wireframe Basics for Beginners: An Agency Perspective 3.Axure vs Mockplus vs Balsamiq – Wireframing Design Tool Comparison

Become a Great UX Designer in 5 Easy Steps

“What makes a good UX Designer?”

It’s a question that I think about a lot (and hopefully, if you are in the UX field, you think about it too). Because the field of User Experience is relatively new, we spend a lot of time trying to define what a UX designer is and what we do on a daily basis. In fact, this sometimes leaves us so drained that we rarely push the conversation further by attempting to define what makes a good UX designer. In my job as a UX consultant, I get to meet many other UX professionals and watch them work. I also get to meet many naysayers and people who don’t understand what UX is all about. Meeting all of these different people has been an amazing experience and has encouraged me to really think about what sets apart good UX professionals from the not so good ones.

I want to be clear that I’m not interested in discussing the hard skills (coding, wire-framing, research methods, etc.) that make a good UX professional. Instead, I want to talk a bit about the soft skills that most good UX designers have. This list is not exhaustive; in fact, I’m only aiming to outline what I think are the top 5 characteristics. I am sure that you can think of many more.

  1. Empathy…Duh.

Above all else, good UX Designers have empathy for other people. You can see this in their daily lives. They ask how they can help when you are facing a difficult problem. They let others vent and they listen. They feel bad when they have to break plans. They are constantly thinking about others.

Empathy is incredibly important when trying to design software for other people to use. You need to understand their pains in order to design a solution that addresses those pains. When you approach a design problem, you immediately want to talk to people, observe them and truly understand where they are coming from. Honestly, you never spend more than a few hours designing something without asking for input (even if it’s just from co-workers).

There is one catch with empathy. You want to listen to your users and solve their problems, but it is true that users don’t always know what they want. It’s important to listen and observe—interpreting some potential problems that users aren’t able to verbalize.

  1. Ability to ask for, listen to and use feedback effectively.

Just as you are able to listen to user’s input and understand their needs, you are also able to listen to feedback on your work and not run and hide or become argumentative. This is really hard for a lot of people, especially when you’ve spent hours creating a hi-fidelity mockup (I would argue that you shouldn’t be doing this anyway, but that’s another article). Getting feedback and using it effectively gets easier with time.

Good UX Designers are always asking for feedback- on designs, after a project ends, when they work with people in other roles. They are genuinely interested in how they can improve and become better designers. But they don’t just collect that information, read it, and then lock it away in the feedback vault. They use it. They take the time to think about the feedback they receive and they act on it — you can be pretty confident that if you give them honest feedback that they can act on, you’ll see improvements from them in the future.

  1. Adaptability.

Adaptability is crucial in a world that is constantly changing and as we all know, the world of technology is changing by the second. Good UX designers don’t get too attached to their designs because they KNOW that things are always changing…and they are okay with that. If you aren’t okay with change, you probably shouldn’t be a UX Designer.

UX Designers also need to be adaptable in how they work — they are problem solvers who need to work with multiple groups of stakeholders to find the right solution. They need to “fit in” when they pair with developers to tackle a design issue just as they need to “fit in” when they test with users. They need to gain the trust of many people and leverage their relationships to build the BEST solution possible.

  1. Diverse Experiences.

So this is an interesting one. I have worked with many different UX designers in my career so far and most of the really good ones I know have come from backgrounds that are not technology specific. I know many UX designers who have studied anthropology, psychology, history and other interesting liberal arts topics. They have traveled extensively, taken pottery classes, worked in the non-profit sector, or built their own pizza making oven in the backyard. They are people who never stop exploring.

This is an incredible field because of the fact that you have all of these diverse minds coming together to solve problems —almost everyone who came to this career did it by choice. It’s not something you can very easily just slide into (although it does occasionally happen). It’s also not an easy job to train for — you have to really want to do it. Good UX designers have seen people use poorly made products and it makes them cringe. It pulls at their heart strings. Their career choice is often coming from a place of compassion.

  1. Vulnerability.

I owe #5 to Brene Brown who speaks and writes on this topic often. I love her writing and I think it applies to this career even more than some others. UX designers are always trying to prove that they are needed, valuable, important, crucial to the project at hand. They boast about their knowledge, skills, proven track record, eye tracking or screen click analytics. But talking like this can become intimidating and can even be seen as being “cold.” It can begin to alienate teammates and clients alike.

Good UX designers approach problems collaboratively and not defensively and yes, they ADMIT when they don’t know the answer or when they are wrong. In other words, they show vulnerability and they are deeply honest. They ask questions to learn more and they take other people’s thoughts and opinions into consideration before gunning ahead. They look to developers, BAs, QAs, project managers and others for inspiration and ideas. They never think that they alone own the solution or that they should get the final word. Basically, they play nice. They cooperate and they show a humbleness that the team appreciates. This is not to say that they are passive — I hope I made that clear. They still fight for what they believe in, but they fight with an arsenal of humility. They don’t make bold claims and proclamations about what WILL happen, rather, they draw others in and rally for the best possible outcome.

Okay, so these aren’t necessarily “steps” per say, but hopefully they are things to take into consideration when you are thinking about working with, hiring, or becoming a UX professional. I don’t know much, but I know I love you (sorry, I had to) and that I am damn lucky to call UX my profession and my home. And that may be all there is to know.

GitHub – ChloeZou123

ChloeZou123