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Are you familiar with thе steps of creating a digital product? Here are the steps we at Ralev.com follow to build your web or software product:

  1. Consulting
  2. Tech Specification
  3. Wireframes
  4. Design
  5. Development

Today we decided to take a closer look at wireframes and how they can be a win-win strategic exchange of value between clients and designers. 

The wireframes are often underestimated, but they are the rough sketches of the interface – something like the skeleton of the digital product

In this blog article, we’ll explain the purpose of wireframes, who, and when needs to use them, showcase different methods and tools to make one, explain the benefits and the tricky parts, as well as how they can save you and your business money. 

Who needs to be familiar with wireframes?

So if you are an entrepreneur, a business owner, an account manager, a marketer, or else the simple principles we’ve described down below will definitely add value to your work and help you achieve your company’s goal.

Before we jump into all the benefits of wireframes and how to produce them, the most important thing to know is that they will help you optimize your time and budget. Yes, we are talking about a cost-effective approach to the interface of your new web or software project, so let’s get familiar with the concept.  

What is a wireframe?

Basically, a wireframe is a schematic blueprint, or else said a visual guide to how you imagine the UI design of your website or app. It’s supposed to show a schematic way how you imagine a page’s interface. Think of it as a mockup or a prototype or as a skeleton that will hold your content and ideas in place. 

The goal of the wireframe is to be able to use it as a reference for both you and the designer’s team when you are creating the project overview. Having it will help get a better idea of the final destination you and your team are headed to.  

Don’t worry if you encounter some difficulties in defining your interface, we at Ralev.com are building websites for the past 16 years, and we are here to help you out with everything. 

In which phase of the development should we use it?

The earliest you pin your wireframes, the better. It’s awesome to know what you can bring to the table before reaching out or asking for what you want. The truth is that approaching a project with a solid goal and a flexible attitude when it comes to creative execution is the key to achieve the best results. 

Wireframes are mainly introduced in the specification phase to help clarify the project, the number of screens and elements needed, and determine the expenses.

Which tools should I use to produce wireframes?

A pen and a sheet of paper would do the trick. Seriously, no need to be fancy. The goal is to have it, not to show off.

Well, if you still feel like doing something a bit more whimsy, you could use Excell or Google Sheets. Due to the nature of the grid system in those programs – it is very convenient to just color rectangles to mark different zones you want to have on the screen and to put a short description of how each zone will serve you. Remember, the main goal is to schematize and explain what the different elements will serve you as.

If you want to do it in the designer’s way, there are some specialized tools for wireframes & prototyping such as Figma, Adobe XD, Sketch, etc.

* They should be gifs to be easily savable, under 8 MB? so that they are shared in Pinterest, too

Will it reduce the cost of the project?

es, significantly. As we said, this is a cost-effective strategy the client should have when approaching a design agency.

By making things crystal clear, wireframes reduce the time to produce the project, hence the overall budget. And if we need to put a number to make this even more appealing, well, a good set of wireframes could reduce the design budget with 5% to 20% for digital products.

Ready to learn how to get started with the wireframe of your latest project?

A crucial part of planning your software or website is organizing the information you’ll share with your audience. Figuring out how to structure the different parts of your website will help you better understand how you can, later on, develop the different parts. 

One of the easiest ways to start is by listing the different sections and pages you’ll need to have for presenting your business to a client or your idea to a user. 

Are you planning on introducing more visual content, or you feel like sticking mainly to texts? 

Do you have brand colors you want to incorporate in your digital product? Hey, if you don’t have a stable brand identity, don’t forget that we are here to help you and your digital product stand out! Check out some of the brand identities we’ve been working on here (internal link to a website page).

When discussing the content you’ll introduce, it will be useful to have the textual content in advance because its size may play a significant role in the design. 

Just remember all this planning in advance will result in a far more professional, curated, and aesthetically pleasing digital product that will help you draw more customers.  

What are the most common mistakes when making wireframes?

With the right practices and questions to keep in mind when creating a wireframe, we decided to list some of the things that often pop-up as difficulties. Here are the stumbling blocks that may occur when making wireframes:

  • Inconsistency of the elements through the screens
  • Lack of understanding of what is doable in a web environment
  • Lack of wireframes for mobile devices ( different resolutions)
  • Last-minute change of repeatable key elements
  • Messed up hierarchy
  • Not enough CTAs (Call To Action elements)
  • Lack of color coding
  • Lack of connection between the screens
  • Lack of elements description (text)

Is there a substitute for the wireframes?

There is an easy way to do this. Still, it is suitable only in micro-projects where screen references from other digital products could be used directly to explain the arrangement of the elements and the functionality. 

You can showcase different web sites or apps you like and make a print-screen of different parts you want and later put them in a PDF with comments, explaining your idea.

But keep in mind that every digital product is different and has a specific needs, we are here to help you build the best digital product that will serve your mission and empower your vision. 

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