Reasons why wireframes are really important in website development?

Author: BK Vijay

It’s never been easy for the project managers and the system designers to determine how the proposed system application or a website should look like as an end product. The process of documenting the project specifications and doing the flow charts has always been in practice but drawing the visual layout with step by step process to determine how the page or website should appear has gained importance lately. Many companies follow their own standards in drawing the wireframe frameworks, some use rectangles and annotations whereas others do it in a very refined manner in detail, including all elements of the page like content, structure, functionality etc. Drawing the wireframes become more important in broadly structuring the page elements especially when the project is in the state of a confusion or at the beginning phase.

To get a clear picture on the importance of wireframe in web development, let us go through the reasons why people use them frequently.

Clear visual website structure
Based on how close they resemble to the end product, wireframes can be low fidelity structures with low detailed rough sketch or high fidelity drawings having nearest matching with the website actual design. Irrespective of their displaying format, wireframes are more like a foundation for the website giving clear idea of visual representation on the page structure, placement and functionality of each element. It not only confirms the structure but also clarifies the website features and the project scope. Once the wireframe layout is designed there will be no confusion on the functionality, page flow and website navigation.

Easy to debug the flaws
Wireframes escalate user interface process where importance is given to the website architecture and functionality rather than the page aesthetics. Once the framework is drawn, there will be no confusion in the navigation paths that are present between the pages. The visual layout of the wireframes include basic website’s skeletal structure in which color, graphics, logos and other visual flairs are completely taken out, leaving it with only the fundamental blue prints of the page elements. This lack of decoration and graphics makes it easy to focus only on the objectivity and identify if any flaws are present.

Saves cost and time
As we all know, the cost and time involved in designing a good website is enormous and it keeps increasing as we come up with more changes and enhancements. The best way to minimize time and expenditure is to avoid reworking on the website design process. Many professionals who deal with system design and development skip the process of wireframe and directly jump to the graphic part thinking it as an unnecessary procedure. What they don’t realize is, skipping wireframe will result in unnecessary delay in project execution and wastage of resources.

Evaluates website growth
Accommodating the growth for future enhancements is the critical aspect for every website. Some websites are designed to accommodate the flexibility of handling the future upgrades for content and other page elements while others have restricted configurations giving very little scope for improvements. A well structured wireframe layout will clearly identify how well the site can handle the future transformations without impacting the basic design and architecture. This attribute is especially beneficial for the e-commerce websites where the product count keeps on increasing with the business growth.