Introduction to Wireframing

Wireframing is a crucial stage of the design and development process that bridges the gap between design and strategy. Wireframes are created to visually represent screen design, UI, and the web page as a whole, serving as the foundation for people looking to create UI design of a website. A wireframe arranges elements to implement a creative idea in a presentable form, and establish relationships between templates of a project. 

Okay, but why is wireframing so critical to the design process? What exactly are wireframes after all? In this posting, we will get back to the basics and try to set some of your doubts straight. For those who are new to the magic world of UI/UX, we will discuss the very meaning of wireframing, types of wireframes, and their features. So let’s get started!


What are Wireframes?

Wireframes refer to two-dimensional illustrations of an interface that focus on functionality and prioritization/space allocation of content. At this phase, all the discussions, spreadsheets, and plans finally come together in a working model that can finally be seen or interacted with. Wireframes do not include any graphics, color, or styling. In contrast, they are a skeletal model containing only vertices and lines. A typical wireframe might not look pretty, however, it allows developers to quickly reconsider/revise project strategy and concepts, without being distracted with visuals. 

Definitely, wireframes differ from project to project. However, the following are standard elements of wireframes:

  • Headers (H1, H2)
  • Navigation 
  • Body content
  • Breadcrumb
  • Social media buttons
  • Logo
  • Search field
  • Footer
  • Contact information

A wireframe serves many purposes by:

  • Prioritizing content and determining where a given item is located and how much space to allocate to it;
  • Determining intended functionality;
  • Clarifying methods to display information on the UI;
  • Connecting the website’s information architecture to its visual appearance.


What is not a Wireframe?

Wireframes are not your finished site. Wireframes are not its future design. Wireframes refer to the earlier stage of the project. While your website will probably work in a similar manner and designed in a similar manner, a wireframe is not exactly what your site will look like when it goes live. 

Now that we have explained the importance of wireframing, let’s talk about the types of wireframes.

Types of Wireframes

Wireframes vary in the amount of detail conveyed as well as the level of production. From this perspective, they can be categorized into two types as follows: 

  • High-fidelity wireframes

High-fidelity wireframes have an increased level of detail that allows visualizing the life of the website before adding imagery and colors. And because this type has more specifics included (links to see the full article, excerpts, featured images, etc.), it is much better for documenting and exploring complex concepts like interactive maps and menu systems. High-fidelity wireframes are the middle ground between the final design and initial idea that includes information about each section on the page, such as interactive elements, behavior, dimensions, and realistic content (often with headlines and subheads).

Benefits of creating high-fidelity wireframes:

  1. They look impressive (especially if you need to impress the customer in the first go);
  2. Provide a clear understanding as to how the website’s interface will work and look in the end.

Drawbacks of creating high-fidelity wireframes:

  1. They are more expensive and require more time to create;
  2. May be too complex for customers who are not technically advanced. As a result, they can turn into a sheer waste of resources if he or she is unsatisfied with the final version;
  3. Simple projects typically do not require going into much specifics.


  • Low-fidelity wireframes

This type of wireframes is kind of a starting point for a designer’s work that provides a simple visual representation of the project. Typically, they comprised of black/white shapes. Low-fidelity wireframes are more abstract, implementing mock content (lorem ipsum) and blocking off space. The main idea here is to display the hierarchy of items, layout, and provide a quick look at the visual priority of content as well as at what content will be on each page.

Benefits of creating low-fidelity wireframes:

  1. Relatively easy and cheap to create;
  2. Facilitate teamwork and communication.

Drawbacks of creating low-fidelity wireframes:

  1. Might not look impressive for the customer;
  2. Leave many questions without an answer. That is why low-fidelity wireframes do not fit for complex projects.

  Also, it is possible to use a hybrid approach to wireframes that combines the characteristics of both types mentioned above.


Key Takeaways

Whatever be the design, it is the UX that really matters! Creating wireframes is just a process that takes you a bit closer to delivering the best user experience to your users. Wireframing provides a lifelike display of what a project will look like in the end. Wireframes reduce the chances of major pivots later on during technical engagements. That is why at Loonar Studios we always insist on creating wireframes! As for the choice between the two types of wireframes, it is more the call of the product. Typically, a low-fidelity wireframe provides the ability to further develop the project into a high-fidelity wireframe that can be presented to the customer. Do not hesitate to contact us if you still have any questions. Good luck!