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Wireframes: an interactive blueprint


Rather than wading through a lengthy specification, which can be technical, full of jargon and at times just confusing – wouldn’t it be better to see a real life version of your new website or software application instead?

An interactive wireframe allows customers to see a working example of their final website or software application – before it is fully built.

What is a wireframe?

Wireframes focus on the basic elements of a website or piece of software – considering how the pages are laid out and the functionality behind them. This enables customers to see the navigation of their software or website, before it has any design included. They are not distracted with images, colour or fonts, but can focus solely on the site’s navigation and the user journey, and ensure that all the functionality they require is included.

A wireframe can be as simple as a paper drawing outlining the site’s navigation, to a full interactive version complete with clickable buttons and examples. Whichever method used, wireframes should be simple and quick to build so a number of ideas can be experimented and discussed before going down a particular route.

At Alberon we use wireframes as part of the planning process – for both our software and web design projects. They help to clarify requirements at an early stage and allow us to work more closely with the customer throughout.

Advantages of wireframe

  • Helps clarify requirements. Having a visual representation of exactly how a new software or website solution will function means customers can clarify their requirements, show others and canvass opinion.
  • Saves time and money. Making changes to the final wireframe at the start, before the build starts, saves both time and money down the line. Having this clarification from the beginning helps to minimise changes later in the process and provides customers with a much clearer example of what the end result will be.
  • Provides a preview of the final product. In its simplest form – an interactive wireframe makes the planning process much smoother when creating a new software solution or website. But it can also act as a demo or basic prototype of the final product – complete with real examples. This can then be used for market research, in tender situations or when pitching for funding for the final product.
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