Are you getting ready to redesign your business’ website? With all the tools online now, it’s quicker and easier to build websites. Companies can develop a new site in a matter of weeks — or even days. Even if you create a site completely from scratch, the entire process is much simpler today than it has ever been in the past.
But just because it’s easier to build a site doesn’t mean there isn’t a margin for error. Whether you are doing a DIY website on a simple platform like Wix or Squarespace or you are getting it developed on one of the big boys like HubSpot or Wordpress, there’s one thing you should do before you get started building your site on any platform…
...You should start with a wireframe.
What’s A Wireframe And Why Do I Need It?
A wireframe is a visual guide the represents the skeleton or bones of a website. It is a handy tool to figure out a general layout for your website before getting into the nitty-gritty of making full mockups and developing the design.
You’re probably asking yourself, “Why would I want to add an extra step to this whole process when I can just throw a site together and be good to go?”
I’m not saying you need to do a wireframe every time, but if you want to step your game up and think about your website strategy and user experience, wireframing your new website is the place to start.
Think of it as the construction of a new building. Before a construction company starts building a structure, an architect spends time drawing up plans for the building. They make sure they know what purpose the building will have, where the rooms will be and how you can get to them, and how to make the space accessible for people in real life.
That’s the same reason that we create a wireframe. It’s the blueprint for our website design. We start planning the paths our users will take, determine what actions we want them to take, and think of how we can make the steps to those actions as simple as possible.
Maybe you are a solo entrepreneur trying to design your own website, or you’re a designer/developer looking to get better at making sites for your clients. Whoever you are, your business can still benefit from including wireframes into your website creation strategy.
What Do I Need to Make A Wireframe?
Now that I've told you why wireframes are key to improving user experience in website development, let’s go over what you to get started on your first wireframe! You don’t need a fancy degree in graphic design or even the full Adobe Suite, and you sure don’t need to be the best artist in the world.
All you really need to get started on your first wireframe is:
- A pencil
- Some paper
- A rule for those extra straight lines.
If you prefer a more digital touch, you can use online tools such as Wireframe.CC, Balsalmiq. Adobe XD (which is free) is also a great option if you want to get a little more technical in your wireframe creation!
Now you are ready to get started. So how do you take your vision for your page and bring it to life? I typically study other websites first and make notes about what I like along the way. For additional inspiration, you can check out websites like Awwards, Dribbble, and Collect UI for some creative twists on webpage design.
HubSpot provides detailed reports to help you keep track of what posts worked and what posts missed the mark. Even if you are only able to run reports twice a year, you’ll be able to take the uncertainties out of your social media management.
3 Tips To Make Better Wireframes
Alright, you’ve got an idea of why you need a wireframe, you’ve got your inspiration, and you’ve got the tools and you are ready to get started. It’s time to give it a shot!
If your first wireframe looks a little off, don’t worry. The more wireframes you create, the better you get at creating them. And remember to keep these 3 tips in mind to make your wireframes as clean and crisp as possible:
1. Keep it simple.
Don’t get so caught up in the details. Take every element and boil it down to its most basic form. Wireframes should be a quick way to express the general look and feel of your website, primarily the layout. You don’t need to draw full sketches of the characters in the image boxes. A simple outline will do!
2. Create a reusable system.
To make your wireframes as easy to understand as possible, you need to create a repeatable system. Come up with a consistent style to use on all of your headings, buttons, images and text. That way, you can add a level of consistency and professionalism to your wireframes.
3. Make clear and deliberate marks.
Make sure the lines and shapes you draw clearly convey what you want them to be, and make sure the marks you make are the ones you want to be there. This prevents confusion further down the process. It also helps keep your wireframes simple.
If you follow these 3 tips you will be creating awesome wireframes in no time!
Create A Website Experience Customers Will Love
Wireframes may seem like an unnecessary added step to the website design process, but they’re an easy, professional way to ensure each page you lay out is designed with purpose. They force you to really think about your layout from a user-experience standpoint, and they’re a good back-up to keep on-hand in case something were to happen to your site.
The layout of your site is only one part of its efficiency. Your content, structure, and message also play a huge role in persuading potential customers to take the next step and choose your business.
Instead of worrying about doing the wireframing, writing the content, designing the site and developing it, why not let the experts at ROI Online take care of that for you? Our team specializes in storytelling marketing, HubSpot, and sales automation. As a StoryBrand Certified Agency, we know how to help you get the results you need from your website!
Contact us today for a free strategy session and see how we can help your business succeed!