Before hiring a web designer, it is important to have a structure in mind. Who are you going to target? What type of feel do you want your site to have? What type of features do you want? And, most importantly, what is the purpose of your site? Taking the time to create a web wireframe can help you not only choose the best designer, but get the end product you envision.
A wireframe is like a blueprint for your website. It lays out the page’s content and functionality without getting into design details. Those will come later. The benefit of creating a web wireframe is that you can get a sense of the page’s purpose and troubleshoot any potential problems. Seeing the page through this lens can help you identify weak points and make sure the site is functional. It also keeps the web designer from having to go back and make changes (which ends up saving you money as well). How do you start?
First, have a very good idea of what you need, a sitemap, and either Adobe Photoshop or an online program like Mock Flow, which helps you develop wireframes. Take a look at other sites that offer similar products or services and get a sense of their design layouts. With Mock Flow, for instance, you can quickly create your visual concept without having to draw or code. The SiteMap visualizer allows you to analyze your site so you can get a complete view of it before hiring a designer.
The benefit of taking this extra step is that you can streamline the design process and reduce confusion or missteps between you and the designer.