features and benefits

A wireframe is a map of screens that shows navigation between screens and contains minimal detail.

Wireframes have limited visual performance since most of the design elements (like images, videos, colors, real text, etc.) are not included in this tool. Instead of specific elements, designers use placeholders. For example, a square with a cross represents an image. This technique is important—object placeholders and a gray palette help you focus on the layout and structure of the page, rather than the visual aspects of the design.

Sometimes customers may not understand what “master image”, “Google map integration”, “product filtering” and hundreds of other terms mean. Wireframing specific features gives the client clear information about how they will work, where they will be placed, and how useful they can actually be.

Sometimes, looking at the wireframe, it becomes clear to the customer or team that it is better to refuse some functions. When we look at features without the influence of colors and pictures, we see how they work in their purest form and how much they correspond to the goals and objectives of the product. At this stage, making changes is easier and faster. At the same time, the budget for such work is quite small – the screens are made without detailing, which significantly reduces the cost of the artifact.

Wireframe Benefits

One of the great benefits of wireframe is that it provides early rendering that can be used for review with a client.

From a practical point of view, wireframes ensure that the content and features of a page are properly placed according to user and business needs. And as the project progresses, they can be used as a useful dialogue within the team to agree on the vision and scope of the project.

Wireframe and Prototypes: Not the Same

Many people use the terms wireframe and prototype interchangeably, but there are significant differences between the two: they look different, they communicate different things, and they serve different purposes.

Prototyping is the process of creating an interactive experience. The prototype is the final product, including the simulation of the interaction with the user interface.

Unlike wireframes, which often look the same, prototypes can vary greatly. It can range from simple artifacts that reflect elementary interactions to clickable tools that look and work almost like a real product.

Prototypes serve as a bridge to the real product. The purpose of prototyping is to show the connection of screens through user experience and their purpose. This makes it convenient for testing with real users – prototypes allow participants to interact with the design in the same way that they interact with the finished product.

How to use Wireframes in development

You can suggest making wireframes at the stage of the discovery phase in order to work out the screens of a mobile or web application.

Then, in wireframes, information about the goals of the screen is described and those elements that are planned to be placed there are schematically drawn. From my own experience I can say that it is good to work on this tool in parallel with the BPMN diagram. After the wireframes are drawn and agreed with the customer, and the diagram is worked out, these artifacts are combined into one. Such a move makes it possible to see which screens are missing in the process diagram, or which processes we did not take into account when developing BPMN.

So with the help of wireframes and BPMN diagrams, the integrity of the business processes of the future application is ensured. Wireframes also save a lot of time and money during the testing phase and making corrections at later stages of the project.

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