5 Features Your Wireframe Software Needs to Have
Wireframe tools help designers create a plan for their website that can keep developers and future clients on the same page. They are helpful to use in the beginning stages of planning a website because it assures future investors about the direction of the website’s plan, and it allows the designers to test out some ideas without the fear of wasting too much time or money. Wireframe tools are almost a necessity in the life of a web designer.
Not to mention, wireframe tools can cut down on time and cost down the road from miscommunications that arise in the prototype stage and can help designers identify elements that may or may not improve the functionality of a website, and therefore, draw more users to the website.
But an excellent website plan is only as good as the planning software. Before you invest in any wireframe software, check to see offers any of these five features. If you find that a wireframe software doesn’t have any of these elements, or very few of them, consider researching a different one. However, if it checks all the boxes or most, it might be worth the investment.
1:- UI Elements
UI (User Interface) elements allow for future users to interact with a website through checkboxes, drop-down lists, buttons, etc.
A good wireframe software will include these elements for you to incorporate into your framework design. Without UI elements, a designer will potentially miss some flaws in the overall structure of the website or the vision for the page. The more flaws you catch early on, the faster the process will work for the following stages, such as prototyping. Saved time means saved money.
2:- Easy to Use Software
Designers are required to work faster than ever before, and thus do not have the extra time required to figure out complex wireframe software. After all, the purpose of wireframing is to make the experience and vision easier for software developers and future clients. But if the wireframe software itself proves difficult to navigate, this can foreshadow how well the clients will interact with the model created in it.
Even if the software presents a clean model of a webpage, if you have to spend hours learning how to navigate the software, you might want to reconsider the investment. Time learning still costs a lot of money.
However, a simple and practical wireframe software can cut down on this time and devote more of it to creating a useful model for a future project.
3:- Prototyping and Wireframe Software
Some wireframe software forces designers to toggle between three different programs (InDesign, Illustrator, etc.) when moving from wireframing to prototyping. This can cause a lot of headaches and even more of a possibility for error when transferring elements from one stage to the next. Some elements may not copy at all, forcing the designer to rethink the entire plan too late into the process.
But a wireframe software that offers both wireframing and prototyping can save users time, money, and frustration. With both prototyping and wireframing existing in the same software, users can easily transition from the skeleton of the wireframe to the interactive prototype. Not to mention, since they both come from the same software, fewer translation pains will occur.
4:- Multiple Design Options
Some designers may think of wireframe as a simple black and white model for a website, and when considering which wireframe software to buy, they may opt for a cheaper one to check the box for the wireframe part of the process. But with few options for design provided by a software, they can lose their enthusiasm for the project or feel tempted to jump into the prototype stage, given the lack of options.
Furthermore, if a client participates in giving input early on in the process, they may harbor some skepticism about the project’s prospects if they see a lifeless design or an uninteresting, mundane one.
However, if a wireframe software allows the designer to have multiple design options, this can bolster the confidence of the client and the creativity of the designer. They’ll both be excited to see the plan for the website carried out based on the wireframe plan alone.
5:- Ability to Import from Other Software
Even if the software does have an excellent prototype program, designers still use multiple software in the wireframe and prototype phases (InDesign, Illustrator, etc.). If wireframe software makes it difficult for the designer to transfer design elements from one software to another, this can add much more time to the process than needed.
If, however, the software can import elements from other programs with as little hassle as possible, this can allow for a greater time budget for other portions of the project so that all of the contributors are given extra time to meet their deadlines.
When exploring wireframing options, designers should look for flexible software that allows them to toggle between multiple designs and possibly software that offers wireframe and prototyping. The software should be simple enough that designers can learn quickly, but it shouldn’t be so simple that the designs bore the future clients.
Above all, a user should invest in a wireframe that cuts down on as much time as possible. This can include wireframe software that makes it easy to share HTML code with other users, such as future software developers.