In any web or mobile app development project it's a critical to minimise the risk of functional or usability issues that might affect the course of the project. Early and careful planning goes a long way in ensuring the success of a project. Though frequently overlooked, wireframes can play a significant role in determining the success of a project.
A wireframe is a "skeletal" blueprint of an app. They help all parties involved to visualize what is to be built, but more importantly they help identify problems with the design early in the development process. Read this article to learn more about the benefits of including wireframing during the early stages of app development.
Helps visualisation before work starts
The creation of a wireframe is probably the easiest thing to do during the creation of an app. In its most basic form, it simply requires a pen, paper, and the idea of the app. It allows designers to sketch the app on a piece of paper before development commences. The sketch will allow the developers to make the necessary adjustments and suggestions before the development begins.
Any issues that may arise are immediately addressed. Enhancements are made early on. Clients and developers have a common "vision" for the project from the outset. This provides the right framework for a successful design and implementation of the project. It decreases the chance of changes needing to be made later on when the development has already begun – at a time when it will be far more time-consuming to remedy.
In essence, this simple exercise saves time, money, and increases the chances of meeting the project deadline.
Identifies issues earlier on
I don't think that there is anyone who would like to build something and realize later on that they need to tear it down only to rebuild it. Problems and issues in a development project need to be picked up early on to avoid unnecessary expenses. Wireframes are minimalistic in nature. They don't include a lot of color and graphics. They simply represent a simple skeleton of the overall functionality of the project.
The purpose of the wireframe is to identify issues that may later emerge if the wireframe sketch is not used. You will be able to identify missing components and check if the final product will be usable.
Helps align the teams understanding
An app development project involves many parties. It is important that developers and clients are always on the same page if a project is to go smoothly. Wireframing allows clients and developers to be on the same wavelength from the start of the project to the end. Wireframing allows clients and developers to understand where the project is headed.
Lots of collaborating tools available
The beauty of using wireframes is that they are easy to use. You can draw them on a piece of paper using a pencil. You can also take it to the next level and use an online or downloadable wireframing tool. Balsamiq and Lucid Charts are a couple of our favorites. Some of them are free and allow you to create great wireframes. For bigger projects, you can use premium tools that will make you look good and professional in front of your clients.
So next time you are looking to take and idea you have for an app and turn it into a fully-fledged product, consider wireframing first. You can also learn about other ways of defining and refining your idea in our article on defining your idea.