No matter how efficient or useful your mobile application is, if it is not user-centric, it bounds to fail. Businesses have developed an intricate understanding of user experience and now they are incorporating these elements in mobile applications. Even before the graphic designing or app development begins, Wireframe is developed. What is a Wireframe app? Why it is the first priority of every app developer? How to create a Wireframe and how to make the best Wireframe?
We are going to take all these questions and answer them in detail in this article. Let’s begin with the basics:
What is a Wireframe App?
A Wireframe is a rough sketch that acts as a guiding light in the process of app development. A Wireframe includes the varied nuances of an application. The outlines of an app are drawn in the form of a sketch to help developers from getting distracted. By following the Wireframe app any individual can understand the varied functionalities of the application.
The Wireframing process is also referred to as screen blueprinting where the important aspects are drawn to help individuals understand the skeletal framework of the application.
What needs to be kept in mind while designing a Wireframe app?
- One must include the varied features that need to be integrated with the app.
- Features like the search button, go to the top button and filter must be included.
- Developers need to understand a Wireframe is not a UI map, but simply a representation of important features and functionalities.
- The team at Endive gives utmost importance to the development of Wireframe apps because it simplifies the process and helps to keep everyone in the loop
What are the things highlighted by a Wireframe app?
In general, Wireframing highlights the unique features of the application that improves the overall user experience. A well-designed Wireframe app will include the following:
- Screen transitions
- Content optimization
- Space allocation and distribution
- Actions that improve the overall user experience
- Unique features that make the app stand out of the crowd
With a Wireframe app, teams can easily go from one step to another. The clear positioning of everything in this blueprint will make it easier for the team and additional staff to understand the working of the application.
Step by step process of building a Wireframe app:
With a clear understanding of what a Wireframe design is and why we need a mobile app Wireframe? Let’s move to the most important part of how to create Wireframes.
Step 1: Discover what you want to develop:
In the modern world, where apps are helping people shop for groceries, medicine and book appointment with doctors, it is important for a team to come up with an app that is user-friendly. Being user-friendly is no option but a compulsion because all your competitors are already providing a great experience. When focussing on user experience factors like a theme, color synchronization and fonts are secondary, tech is the primary. By keeping the codes clean and light you can build an app that loads faster and saves time.
Some of the important features that improve user experience are:
- Chat features: Help your users find customer support with one look. Having a chat feature visible on the app, people are going to have a great time interacting with your app and business.
- Search bar: We have mentioned it before and we are repeating it again. A search bar is a must. When you put up a search bar, you allow the user to find what they are looking for within seconds improving the user experience by leaps and bounds.
- Clickable social media links: Allow your users to share content with a click. Adding clickable social media links helps you with marketing as well.
In short, when we say discover what you want to develop, we are coaxing you to find solutions that will improve your app’s experience.
Step 2: Study your competition:
Well, when building a sketched Wireframe, it makes sense to look at the competitor’s app. Companies like Endive Software are successful because they spend a lot of resources and time on market research. Studying your competitor will help you understand what the end-user wants and how it can be provided. With the help of reverse engineering, you can also add those features to your app.
Some of the underrated benefits of studying your competitor applications are:
- It tells you how to solve a persisting problem
- You save time in market research. The competitors must have done market research by working day in and day out, while you are getting all these for free.
- Studying your competitor will help you understand how to approach users with the help of functionalities and unique features.
- If lucky, you can also get hold of their Wireframe design and use it for building yours
- Competitor’s Wireframe design will reveal some amazing information which can change the future of your app for better.
Step 3: Look for inspiration outside the industry
When you keep looking inside the industry all you see is that every app using the same features repetitively. When you decide to look outside the industry, you will be able to discover new ways of enhancing user experience. Add these features to your Wireframe design and see that it is converted into a real functionality.
Why look outside industry while designing a Wireframe?
- It will help you beat the monotony
- You will see how problems can be solved innovatively
- You will be able to give your Wireframe a unique sense
Step 4: Start building your Wireframe design:
It is now time for you to stop getting involved in maps and designs and get some real work done. With a clear understanding of what features and functionalities you want, you can now use sketch Wireframe to draw the blueprint.
Today there are varied options of designing a Wireframe design, you can either get it done manually or online. Apps like sketch are allowing developers to build Wireframe app with great ease. When doing it manually, you need to get a big chart-paper and draw outlines of the app with the help of a marker. It is suggested to not rely on manual methods because it is not team-friendly and you will be required to draw more than one Wireframe.
With online tools, you can draw the Wireframe once and share it with all your team. One can make use of these online drawn wireframes even from remote areas and continue with the work without any disruption. Tools like Sketch have leveraged developers with the power to draw wireframe in the most eloquent manner.
Step 5: Get the Prototype Prepared
With all that market research, reverse engineering and wireframe design, it is time for your team of developers to build a prototype. Building a prototype will solve a lot of problems like:
- Discover loopholes in wireframe: Find them and remove them to make your app a lot better.
- Discover opportunities: Find opportunities where an app’s experience can be improved
- Add new functionalities: If the prototype comes up to be extremely fast or slow, it is time for you to add or remove some functionalities respectively.
- Test varied features: A prototype allows you to check whether all drop down, scroll up and search bar functionalities are working or not. Any loophole that possibly exists while being discovered and eliminated in the prototype stage, leaving your app to be nothing but perfect.
- Why Wireframing for apps is so essential?
- It draws a clear picture of the final product. You don’t need to visualize and work on the app when you can draw a wireframe and follow it religiously.
- Highlights the varied functionalities and technicalities
- Works as a roadmap for the developers and managers
- Sets accountability and allows everyone to work at their own pace
Wireframing is so popular because it is cheaper and it helps businesses save a lot of money. When you get to the prototype directly, you will discover that there are errors and missed opportunities. Building more than one or two prototypes will cost you more, but when you design a wireframe first, where all market research and reverse engineering are embedded, you can build the most perfect prototype in the very first attempt.
Wireframing can be done without spending a lot of money and it helps save a lot of time and resources. Enterprises like Endive has made it a priority to build Wireframe designs before moving to the prototype and mobile app development stages.
Quick tips you can follow while implementing the Wireframe in the prototype:
- Create and save multiple backups, which can be retrieved in case of emergency
- Allow people to criticize your design. Listen to everyone patiently and include changes if found viable
- Let people know that this is just a skeleton and not the final product
- Let people discover the most unique things and boast your USP like never before
A lot of app developers refrain from building Wireframe design, they find it to be extra work and time taking. While everyone who has built Wireframe Design before moving to prototype has found out that it actually saves time and makes the project quite economical. Wireframe helps you identify possibilities, opportunities and loopholes even before the app is built.