Over the years I’ve matured in my web design process. I now have a graphic artist who creates really great design comps and a few WordPress gurus who whip these creations into the Genesis framework from StudioPress. I truly believe I have some of the best people around and I am a lucky girl.
Yes I realize that sounds like fluff, but in my geeky WordPress world all that makes me happy. It means I get to focus on clients, strategy, SEO, and I get to create wireframes. Website wireframes are like pieces of a really cool puzzle that come together to make a really great website.
What the Heck is a Wireframe?
Basically it’s a sketch of what you want a web page to look like. We start with the home page and I typically create a wireframe to give to my graphic artists when I request a new web design. Sometimes I don’t because I want her to be free and unrestricted. In other cases, when I know the client needs specific content or “stuff” on the home page, I create a wireframe. If we are dealing with any type of website personas, I always create a wireframe. It helps give the designer an idea of what we need to accomplish with the home page and what is important for the overall web project.
At this point you’re probably thinking I have this really expensive software for wireframe creation. Not at all. I simply use a SaaS product called iPLOTZ that is available via the internet. You can try and create real wireframes for free. I’ve upgraded and I pay for the service so I can have multiple wireframes at one time, but the free version is perfectly acceptable for the average person to use and create really cool concepts.
The Before and After Using Wireframes
Again, I have a good graphic artist and coding team. But even if you don’t, creating a wireframe will allow you to figure out what you’d like your home page (or other pages) to look like well before you head into actual web design.
Using a wireframe is also a great way to make sure you’ve accomplished the website design goals you’ve set for yourself. Does your home page speak to your personas, does the home page have the necessary call to actions, does the home page have links to your top level content? And don’t forget about contact information or social links. All critical in today’s web design.
So if you’re a novice in WordPress or a business owner who is considering a new website, consider using a wireframe to get your creative juices flowing. It might just bring out the inner geek you didn’t know you had.