Free: Assessment Does your website build trust with buyers and bring in revenue?

Score My Website
Close

Free: Assessment

Does your website build trust with buyers and bring in revenue?
Take this free 6 question assessment and learn how your website can start living up to its potential.
Score My Website
Web Design  |   Marketing Strategy

Wireframing 101: 7 Benefits Behind Wireframing Your Website Redesign

Christine Austin

By Christine Austin

Mar 16, 2016

Wireframing 101: 7 Benefits Behind Wireframing Your Website Redesign

At the beginning of your website redesign process, your ideas are typically just starting to bloom, so they may be a bit unpolished and rigid.Wireframing-8-Benefits-Behind-Wireframing-Your-Website-Redesign

Despite this, many feel that this is enough to begin launching their website into the design phase so they can begin to bring some life to their thoughts. Unfortunately, this approach can quickly leave you second guessing you ideas and wasting time refining them.  

Before you begin executing on the design of your website, you need to take a few steps back and take a look at the bigger picture by wireframing your ideas.

Wireframing can serve as an excellent foundation allowing you to establish the information hierarchy, architecture, and imagery of your website. It also helps save you time and money by defining basic functionality early and eliminating painful roadblocks in the long run.

Let’s look at what wireframes are in detail and then begin to reveal the value in utilizing them in your redesign.

What is Wireframing?

Unlike a website's layout design, a wireframe is a low-fidelity visual representation defining the basic architecture of your website.

It should be devoid of color, logos, fonts, and decorative elements that are later incorporated during the design process. At this point you should be focusing purely on the sites structure and how the elements will work together on the page.

Wireframes can be produced in a number of ways. Some prefer to use programs or software such as Balsamiq, Mockingbird, or Adobe Photoshop while others use the most affordable tools; pen and paper.

8-Benefits-Behind-Wireframing-examples
 

 

You should also be able to easily explain to someone what's going on in your wireframe, and they should be able to understand it. If you're having trouble communicating it or they have trouble seeing the full picture, that's usually an early warning sign that something isn't lining up.

This gives you time to revisit and rethink the idea early on rather than when you design is half finished.

Be careful not to get too carried away with polishing your wireframe with design elements and unnecessary ‘fluff’, your designers can take care of that once your wireframes are completed.

Now that we know what a true wireframe is, let's look at how it can be beneficial in your website redesign process.

1. Make Changes More Efficiently

When your website is being developed, it can be cumbersome to recognize major flaws with the design that require you to go back to the drawing board.

Skipping wireframes also causes a loss of time and money, fractured trust, and missed deadlines. Needless to say, it is not worth the headache a half-planned design might cause.

With hand-drawn wireframes, it's much easier to discard an idea and try a new approach. This makes you much more willing to try a variety of ideas before the right one comes to you. It also makes you more accepting of feedback and testing before you ‘OK’ anything.

2. Allows For Clarification of Features

Certain pages you need may require slightly more attention due to their functionality or features you want to integrate into them.  Rather than guessing what features will work best during development or design, you can think about the functionality early on and recognize and remedy any issues.

It also allows you to think about smaller scale functionality such as search boxes, button placement, animations, etc. You may find out you don’t need certain elements at all or can drastically simplify them.

3. Displays the Architecture of Your Site

You may think you have your site mapped out exactly how it should be in your head, but it’s always good practice to write it all out for you and your team. This way, you can triple check that it’s laid out in a way that flows naturally for your users.

This also ensures that everyone is on the same page with the website’s visual architecture and avoids the possibility of confusion further in the redesign process.

4. Saves You Time & Money

This is one of the most critically important benefits that wireframing offers; saving you time on the overall project and preventing unnecessary spending on issues that could have been avoided.

Wireframing allows your designs to be more calculated, so you have an easier time producing concepts that you know offer a better UX.

Your development team will also better understand what they are building since the initial concept has been communicated to them. This helps you avoid spending time hacking together bandaids to errors you find later in development.

Together, all this helps you prevent spending money on extra hours you need to put in to refine the product so it's ready for deployment.

5. Makes Content Development More Effective

If you aren't taking a content-first approach and are instead using brainstormed content (or maybe none at all), wireframing can help make content development easier on your copywriters.

With wireframes, writers will be able to gauge how long their content should be for each page so it ends up being perfectly tailored to the site’s design.

This also allows you to organize your content to ensure maximum readability, optimal font size, and properly arranged lists and headers. For example, large paragraphs of content can be difficult for users to read, so breaking it up into smaller paragraphs with images may provide more attractive on the eyes.

6. Shows Your Information Hierarchy

Since your wireframes are all about organizing your site’s structure and information, it’s important that you figure out the hierarchy of the items on the page.

This lets you figure out what information is most important to your users, how they should read it, and what actions you want them to take on your pages and make your design reflect that. Organizing this also lets you know what’s unnecessary for your users.

7. Website Responsiveness

While it may seem a bit early, I see the wireframing stage as a excellent point to begin thinking about how your website will be laid out on other devices.

It’s easy to get caught up on the desktop/laptop layout of your website that you begin to become blind to the fact that over half your users may actually be accessing your website via mobile.

Wireframing forces you to make sure your site will adapt well once scaled down, or reveal to you that an application may be a better option on mobile.

If you already have a website, check to see how your current users currently interact with it. It’ll give you direction so you know what issues your current site has that can be remedied in your redesign.

Free: Assessment

Does your website build trust with buyers and bring in revenue?
Take this free 6 question assessment and learn how your website can start living up to its potential.

Related Articles

Can I Use AI Tools To Build My New Website?

September 18, 2023
Vin Gaeta Vin Gaeta

What Is a 'Learning Center' and Why Does My Website Need One?

September 14, 2023
John Becker John Becker

How Much Does a Website Redesign Cost in 2023?

July 20, 2023
Vin Gaeta Vin Gaeta

Do You Need a New Website? Maybe Not

July 19, 2023
Vin Gaeta Vin Gaeta

14 Award-Winning Website Designs (& What They Did Right)

July 17, 2023
Christine Austin Christine Austin

What a New Self-Selection Tool for Your Website Will Cost

July 13, 2023
John Becker John Becker

9 Self-Selection Tools to Inspire Your Business Website

July 10, 2023
John Becker John Becker

Website Conversions in 2023 — STOP, START, KEEP

January 25, 2023
Vin Gaeta Vin Gaeta

8 of the Best Business Website Designs to Inspire You in 2023

November 17, 2022
Christine Austin Christine Austin

What Does a Great Inbound Marketing Website Look Like in 2023?

November 14, 2022
Christine Austin Christine Austin

Your 2023 Website Strategy Must Include These 6 Things

November 4, 2022
Mary Brown Mary Brown

4 Ways To Recession-proof Your Website In 2023

November 1, 2022
Marcus Sheridan Marcus Sheridan

Website Mastery: A better redesign process for your business website

November 1, 2022
John Becker John Becker

8 Best Content Management Systems for Digital Marketing in 2023

October 1, 2022
Christine Austin Christine Austin

12 Essential Tips for Improving Your Web Design in 2023

September 13, 2022
Christine Austin Christine Austin

23 of the Best Examples of Business Blog Design

May 30, 2022
Christine Austin Christine Austin

5 Prep Secrets for a Smoother, More Successful Website Project Plan (+ Infographic)

May 16, 2022
John Becker John Becker

Website Redesign Checklist: The 12 Crucial Steps You Need To Be Successful

February 22, 2022
Joe Rinaldi Joe Rinaldi

11 Pricing Page Examples for Business Websites (Updated for 2023)

January 18, 2022
Christine Austin Christine Austin

8 Crucial Elements Every Homepage Design Should Have

January 15, 2022
Christine Austin Christine Austin

What Makes a Good Website Design? 7 Award-Winning Examples To Be Inspired By

December 18, 2021
Christine Austin Christine Austin

Why Homepage Carousels Are Bad (& 3 Alternatives to Try Instead)

August 26, 2021
Joe Rinaldi Joe Rinaldi

Google Shares New Tools to Audit Website User Experience

August 12, 2021
Christine Austin Christine Austin

New HubSpot CMS Hub Starter Tier Released for Growing Businesses

August 6, 2021
Christine Austin Christine Austin

Too many internal links in content can confuse Google about site structure

July 9, 2021
Christine Austin Christine Austin