Why is wireframing important when building a website or mobile application?
The wireframe is an art of brainstorming user interface mockups, it fills the gap between idea and creating actual UI, it allows designers to visually try out different layouts without coding. “Developing wireframes can avoid a lot of issues/problems during the course of your software development that you could run into otherwise, by being able to identify and fix issues or problems at an early stage”
- Clarity and Transparency: Wireframes serve as a good visual skeleton representation of the overall software application and brings clarity to what is to be expected when the application is completely built out.
- Application Flow: Being able to view all screens on the application and having the ability to click through the different screens / pages would give a better idea to stakeholders on the application flow and capability to detect any issues and make modifications in the early stage of the project lifecycle and at a reasonable low cost rather than having to make modifications in the later stages that can possibly have a major impact on the quality, scope, timeline and or the overall cost of the application.
- Information Architecture: Wireframes can represent the actual content and navigation structure of the application that makes it even more desirable to be built out as it also serves as a documentation of screens/pages to be designed and built out.
- Improves Efficiency: Wireframes help all project members gain clarity and a better understanding of the application which in turn improves the overall efficiency of the team as it brings clarity to the overall goal/vision of the application.
- Scope Documentation: It also serves as a part of your scope documentation to help build a system with a clear set of features and functionality rather than only relying on written documentation that could possibly be interpreted in several ways.
In the world of software development there are usually a lot of assumptions / expectations that usually come to light when you are at the point of delivering or during the development of the application that may heavily affect the scope, budget or timeline of the project which in turn affects your reputation and leave a bitter experience for your customers.
In order to avoid situations where your clients are unhappy it is best advised to develop wireframes to depict features or capabilities that the application would have within the scope of the project. It is crucial that you build wireframes and demonstrate the screens/features that the application would cover.
Developing wireframes can definitely improve the overall software development experience and keep your client's expectations in check if done right.