When someone says “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” they’re talking about distractions. It’s the same thing with designing a website. Before we fill in the fonts, colors, words, pictures and other elements, we have to know where to put them. We come up with an idea or three and we do wireframes. Pictures and words are big distractions, for both us and the client.
A wireframe is like an empty house, no furniture or paint or accessories. An empty house. You can look at the floor plan, understand the exact layout, visualize where things will go without being distracted by chartreuse walls or puce piled carpet. A wireframe is the clients’ chance to understand how all of their Website content will be laid out without having to worry about whether the logo is too small, the font incorrect or the animation a little slow and a different color than they were envisioning.
Two bathrooms, dining room, several hallways …you see the connections and the spaces. You can tell if the house is what you want, without being distracted. A wireframe is boxes arranged on a page with labels that say “Copy,” “Logo,” “Animation,” “Navigation,” and other details that are part of your page without demanding a discussion of whether the legal department will allow a picture of an oil-covered otter or the word “best.”
Does every Website need wireframes? No. But wireframes are a visualization tool for the client, the designers, and developers. They are an excellent practice to follow, no matter the size of the project, and your web design agency should be doing them. It can make your life, and theirs, easier.