The Importance of Wireframes in Web Project Development
Wireframes are an important feature encountered in the web-development process. However, in instances such as starting a new project or transitioning from one platform to another, program managers generally tend to overlook the importance of wireframes. In such circumstances, it needs to be understood that wireframes are still part of the overall project plan. This is because proper page analysis needs to be done so that the number of surprises encountered during the transition project are kept to a minimum.
The importance of wireframes can be highlighted by the fact that the main features as well as content areas, and also outline the flow of a user interface. For example, a website’s home page is a critical feature that forms the face of an online business. Hence, it is important to consider all factors of a home page such as the main menu, drop down categories, and others. Categories and features such as these needs to be displayed in the wire frame.
1. Clear this misconception – Developers are not experience-analysts or wire-frame designers.
One of the biggest misconceptions that exists in the world of project development is that developers are not experience-analysts or wire-frame designers. Hence, it is generally believed that it is possible for the development team to duplicate the old site as it currently stands. This is not as simple as copying the HTML page content from one server to another. What is necessary is proper current state analysis that has to be performed to capture the current site functionality. At all times, it should be remembered that no matter if it is a static page content, product detail page, or even a category page, each page on the website has a specific job to do. The project delivery team should be aware that they need to capture all the features as well as functionality up front, so that they do not lose the sight of the value offered by each page of the website in question.
2. Wireframes help in setting up the project expectations and even help mitigate future issues.
With the help of wireframes, as a project manager, you prevent your web development project from going off-course and consequently haywire. Many clients often complain that although you have progressed on the project, the outcome is not exactly what they expected. With the help of a wire-frame, it is possible to keep your website project on the rails and minimize the possibility of a rework.
3. Wireframes are not pixel perfect.
Some customers tend to expect much right from the wireframe phase of the project. Some others tend to skip the design phase and move forward with just the wireframe, by getting caught up in the wireframes and considering it to an advanced stage in the design. Here, they get caught up in the details of the page rather than review the wireframe themselves. However, it must be kept in mind at all times, that wireframes exist for one simple purpose – to show the overall structure i.e. the skeleton of a page while outlining the high-level features as well as functionality of the page.
4. Wireframes help the entire project development team to become even more efficient.
Wireframes contain enough detail within them to help the entire project team to work in an efficient manner. Not only does it help the Design Team to understand its responsibility by outlining how many page designs have to be created to show the many page scenarios, but it also helps the HTML development team to know what functionality they need to build into the site. Wireframes also help the platform development team plan for additional features as well as functionality required to be developed on the back end.
To summarize, the lack of wireframes to reference causes many questions to arise, as many customers always discover the look and feel as well as flow questions that always tend to popu up during the final delivery of the website. It is in the best interests of the customer as well as the development team not to underestimate the importance of the wireframe and that the user interface is clearly defined as well as understood.