Some of us tend to skip the wireframe stage of website development for a few reasons such as time constraints, client budget constraints yes even pure laziness. The truth of the matter is that wireframing is an extremely important step in the planning process of a website. Skimping here only makes it more difficult down the road to truly get the proper message across to the user.
Here are a few key reasons you should always wireframe:
- Allows you get a clear picture of what information will be needed on each page before design
- Allows you to spend time and really focus on what each page's purpose is. Careful plannings is paramount.
- Allows you a fail-safe for uneducated clients who tend to change their minds during the design phase of the project. If the site is planned out properly in the wireframe stage the functionality of the individual pages shouldn't change much.
- Allows you to set a fallback point. When a client signs off on a wireframe that means they agree to what's on that page. Education of the client also plays an important role here as well as they need to know that changing items already signed off on the wireframe can and probably will bloat the budget.
- Allows you to have a clear look at how the site will react to various visitors without the clutter of color or design elements.
- Allows you to remove any clutter that may be added to to the site that may be unnecessary and detrimental to the site goal.
- They're easily adjustable (pre-signoff) and easy to produce allowing the planning process to move along smoothly and efficiently.
- Reduces the chance of scope creep.
- Gives the designer a clear view of what needs to be designed
- Gets the client deeply involved in the planning process early and opens communication between both parties
Overall the sometimes forgotten wireframe can be a lifesaver. Proper planning of page elements, page goals and site objectives can make or break the overall project.