Are you starting a web project? Do you want to design your website? What do you need then? If you don’t have a clear idea about the future look of your website the whole process of designing and composition may slow down. So you need a tool that will help you plan and see the website layout. This in short is wireframing.
Wireframing in more detail
Like I said in the introduction to this article a website wirefram enables you as a designer and developer to see the layout of your page. It is a schematic representation of the framework of a website that displays elements included in your work.
Why is it useful? It is a simple visual guide that shows ho your page will look like. Thus, you may visualize it and rearrange certain elements of your content to better suit it for you needs. It is a crucial element when you want direct users to a particular element of your website, whether it is a product or an article.
Another great advantage of wireframes is that the visualization provided by such tools may serve to obtain the acceptance of your customer. The he can review your work and add certain changes or suggest rearrangement of current elements. Is such your project may be quickly evaluated and certain changes will not interfere with the work that you could have already done.
The Focus of Wireframes
- what kind of information will be displayed
- what functions will be available on your website
- priority of information, which will be the centre element of your website
There is always a “but”
Of course, there is a “but” to the whole case. Most probably everything existing in the whole world has its advantages and disadvantages. The main negative side of wireframing is the fact that there is no technology included. There is no technical implications of what how the website will be created.
It is also at times hard for a client to see the wireframing in the form of full project. The client’s imagination may not be as developed as yours and he will not see the wireframed website as you ,professional designer, see it.
I have seem many designers starting a wireframe from a scratch on a piece of paper but there are many interesting tools that will help you to create you wireframe be it simple project or a very complex design with great amount of details. So in this way we can proceed to some great tools for wireframe design.
Mockingbird is an online tool that makes all the things I was writing earlier. You can create, preview and link together your website or applications. It is a tool that provides you with fast access to your project, which you may later share with your friends or customer to search for improvements.
It uses drag and drop technique to arrange the elements therefore the wireframing is easy and effective. You can also link various elements together to see how they interact together and see how the application looks and feels. The interesting feature of mockingbird is the live preview. You may share your project with team mates or clients and they may edit it in real time.
Another very interesting tool that will make more than just wire frames. Cacoo may serve to create variety of diagrams among others: flow charts, mind maps network diagrams and what is more important wire frames.
Just like in the previous example this tool also provides sharing features with real time collaboration and you can chat with them while performing a job. Even several users can work on a single project simultaneously.
Basically the tool offers a multitude of features. You can draw numerous diagrams from flow charts, SWOT analysis, org charts, networks diagrams business process, wireframes and even technical drawings.
Creating wireframe with these free tools is very simple. By just dragging and dropping certain elements like buttons, boxes and lines you may create a fully functional and clear wireframe.
It also provides chat and sharing options like most similar wireframe tools. Gliffy enables you collaborate with anyone in any location.
Mockflow key phrases is super easy wireframing and it might be really true. Although I did not have the time to check it by myself, several acquainted webdesigners confirmed the thesis that the tool is easy and simple to use.
Definitely an advantage of mockflow is the feature enabling Mockflow to work both online and offline. So you are not dependant on the online connection. It also feature multiple components build in the tool as well as it has MockStore design library where you can choose additional components. Interestingly Mockflow wireframes can be viewed on mobile devices.
Although I am slightly wandering off the topic of tools that make it possible to create wireframe I though that this toll might be very useful. With this simple bookmarklet you may turn a website to a wireframe in seconds. Then you may export editable wireframe to other tools to edit and work further on a project.
Wireframe.cc is one of the most interesting tools that I want to present to you. It is a minimal wireframe that provides very limited features. You might think that limited means not sufficient that will not suit your basic needs. But on the other hand this simple online tool makes you to focus on pure design and not on sometimes unnecessary and disturbing elements.
It is quite hard to draw some comprehensive and matter-of-fact conclusions because you as a professional have to choose the tool that suits you best. I may only suggest like in this post a couple of solutions and propositions of tolls that you may either find of some use or rather useless for your purposes.