Website Wireframes and Prototypes - A Guide for Clients

Nov 08 2019Written by Manektech Team

When it comes to develop or build a website or web and mobile application, the wireframe and prototype are the two most essential processes, to begin with. Generally, most of the designers use the term “Wireframe” and “Prototype” interchangeably, though they are totally different from each other –in terms of the look, things they communicate and the purposes they serve. In short, the wireframe provides a static view while the prototype helps you with a dynamic view to understand how the project will function and behave when it is ready.

Well, the purpose of writing this article is to help my clients understand a couple of things: the importance and essence of wireframe and prototype and the difference, the two have. During interactions with clients, I have come up with plenty of questions such as why is it necessary to have a wireframe or prototype, why not pushing forward the design concept and development stages? At the same time, some of your clients even don’t understand the difference between the two.

So, keeping their interest in mind, I am writing this article, explaining all their unsolved questions. I would explain the following things for them;

Table of Contents

WIREFRAME

  • Wireframe at Glance
  • How Wireframe Does Look Like?
  • Top Purpose of Wireframing?
  • Right Time to Create Wireframe?
  • Benefits You Get From Wireframing
  • Boundaries of Wireframing
  • How to Create Wireframing?
  • Bonus Tips

PROTOTYPE

  • Prototype at Glance
  • How Prototype Does Look Like?
  • Top Purpose of Prototyping?
  • Right Time to Create a Prototype?
  • Benefits You Get From Prototyping
  • Boundaries of Prototyping
  • How to Create Prototyping?
  • Bonus Tips


WIREFRAME

Wireframe at Glance
Wireframing is the way to designing websites at the structural level which involves the static, low-fidelity representation of various layouts of projects (website, app, web portal, etc.). As its name suggests, wireframes, at first glance look as if they were designed with wires, helping with a visual representation of an interface, using shapes. In simple, a wireframe conveys structure, content, and functionalities, expressing how the interface or piece of pages will be set together, what will be on the page/s and how the interface will work.

How Wireframe Does Look Like?
It’s a visual characteristic of a product that is made without putting images, videos, and texts. Yes, you guessed it right: it looks like a skeleton, having no skins or organs within.

Top Purpose of Wireframing?
This for clients to know the future of the project while outsourcing Website Development and for designers to set a direction for developers in the team. That gives the team a chance to plan, reducing the risk of missing any element.

Right Time to Create Wireframe?
At the earliest! Yes, it has to be created initially, even before designing the project with visual details. It gives a chance to make big changes.

  • Benefits You Get From Wireframing
    There are plenty of benefits of wireframing and they save time, efforts and money from getting wasted. Here are some of the top benefits to prove the points;
  • It’s a communication tool –to describe future and things that the product will have
  • It’s initial documentation –to help the team to deliver a collaborative result, describing functional specifications

Boundaries of Wireframing
No much, but there a few limitations such as;
Not good for user testing
Won’t help to describe the complex project idea

How to Create Wireframes?
You can create wireframes using many options such as;

  • Sketching: It’s quick and advisable as hand-drawn wireframes help in brainstorming sessions and describing different ideas at the same time.
  • Graphics: It can also be created using software like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Software: If you have to move seamlessly from wireframes to prototype, then using software tools like Adobe XD, it becomes very easy.

Bonus Tips
Keep them modest
Showcase “to the point” annotation
Work on feedback


PROTOTYPE


Prototype at Glance
Unlike Wireframes, the prototype is a middle to the high-fidelity representation of a project which integration with core features to simulate user interface interaction. That means users or designers from a website development company can interact with features and get real-time feedback.

How Prototype Does Look Like?
The prototype is an extended version of the Wireframe and the two can vary significantly. However, it can also be built low-fidelity and high-fidelity. It is clickable, but limited in function which gives designers to validate the early design process.

Top Purpose of Prototyping?
The primary purpose of the prototype is to simulate encourage interaction between users and interface. The prototype will act as a bridge between users' interaction and actual products. It will also business woo investors and simulate users and getting their feedback.

Right Time to Create a Prototype?
Prototype becomes important when the development team move ahead with the process and tie visual and interaction design together. That's again the initial phase, right before the actual development begins.

Benefits You Get From Prototyping
There are plenty of benefits when it comes to prototyping. It helps you sell your idea better what that of specification, design or other forms of description. Besides, there is plenty of other benefits prototype. Here are a few of them;
Works excellently in terms of pitching ideas
Helps to recognize problems easily
Works as a communication tool
Helps designers to validate the process
Gives you true insights and user research

Boundaries of Prototyping
Not much, but prototyping is not usable as documents and it may force users to understand how the app will work or function.

How to Create Prototyping?
Most of the things depend on the website development services as they can make prototyping based on the resources they have. However, here are some of the top methods creating prototyping and they include;
Paper prototyping like PowerPoint and Keynote
Presentation software to make the most engaging prototype
Native prototype using native tools or platforms like Java for Android and Swift for iOS

Bonus Tips
Get more design instead of settling up with a single one
Selecting the right fidelity matters
Start with low fidelity and then iterate into high-fidelity version

Conclusion

Wireframing and prototype are the two most efficient and preferred way of starting a project. It will save cost, time and efforts. If you want to save more development, Outsource Website Development can help you do it efficiently. More than that outsourcing website development to India, and save even big bucks than expected.

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