Most Effective Wireframes Recommendations for 2023

Feb 13, 2023Martín Etchegoyen

Wireframes are a time-saving web design tool for creating user interface-driven products like websites. Most product designers are familiar with the concept of wireframes, low-fidelity representations of a user interface, mainly used to display the product’s functionality. Wireframing is a vital part of the design process. Acting like blueprints for web and mobile apps, they help you set a foundation for your product and discover early on what works and what does not for the project that you are currently involved with.

Wireframes Basics

Now we will describe briefly but accurately what wireframes actually are and how can one use them to improve designs. Wireframing is a process in which a visual guide, or blueprint, is created by user experience designers to reveal the basic functionality of websites, mobile apps, or any screen-based product that concerns a user interface. This blueprint is a key element in the early stages of the design process because it provides key guidelines for design teams regarding layout, functionality, and interaction design.


Wireframes act as mockups for project stakeholders who can utilize them to choose where to place particular information before design team associates build out the site or app’s interface. They can also be used during the development process as part of usability testing to gain feedback from user research about the advantages and disadvantages of its visual design and interaction design. Wireframes can range from logos, search fields, and placeholder text, for example. UX design typically renders wireframe images in grayscale to represent colors and text size gradation to underscore the importance of distinctive parts of the information architecture like headers. Designers can sketch wireframes on paper or whiteboard or with different wireframing tools, depending on the project’s complexity.

The 3 Types of Wireframes

There are three different types of wireframes, each delivering different amounts of information about the project:

1. Low-fidelity

Low-fidelity wireframes are usually basic designs that give a rough idea of the site or app from its starting point. This design does not generally feature details like imagery or clickable content. Instead, placeholder images and lorem ipsum are used to give a sense of layout and user flow.

2. Mid-fidelity

The most typically-used form of wireframes is mid-fidelity wireframes because they are the more accurate depiction of a website or mobile application. They offer more detailed templates but still exclude typography or images.

3. High-fidelity

Text and image detail is more detailed and to scale in high-fidelity wireframes. Layouts are pixel-specific and feature images and content that designers may use in the definitive product to exemplify functionality. High-fidelity wireframes are often used during the latter stages of the development project when more details have been solidified.

6 Recommendations for Creating Better Wireframes

In this part, we will present some practical advice so you can see examples of how can you upgrade your wireframes.

1. Detailed sketch

Although it may seem like a good idea to jump right into your favorite design tool, sketching out your wireframes, with a pen and paper, can yield much finer results. During the ideation phase, your goal is to bring up as many ideas as possible and weigh the pros and cons of each concept. The more options you have, the better. Drawing on paper or a whiteboard will allow you to analyze multiple solutions and identify various opportunities. The focus should be to create as many versions as possible without deep-diving into any one of them too much.

Whiteboard sketches can provide basic information during the early stages of product development. Design tools are helpful for wireframes, but they cannot provide detailed information. Ensure that the drawing can be clearly understood and has the correct data and the features you want to include to make the user interface an easy experience.

2. Clarity

Clarity is one of the most important things to take into account when designing a wireframe because otherwise, the feedback from stakeholders will be scattered and less valuable. You have to know the goal of your wireframe before creating it so that you can design it with purpose. Have a clear understanding of the target audience, the problem that the website or app is trying to correct, and how users will find it.

3. Properly-Sized Canvas

Selecting the right size of canvas is one of the fundamental rules of wireframing. If you choose a different size from what you designed, you will end up with a layout that will require correction when you switch to a medium or high-fidelity prototyping tool. The wrong density of elements will lead to incorrect visual hierarchy, and as a result, the need to rethink the organization of elements.

4. Simplicity

In most circumstances, wireframes that simply show content, page views, and functionality will be enough as an informative layout. Issues like color or fine detail are only necessary if you are creating a high-fidelity wireframe. Otherwise, they can distract team members and stakeholders from the wireframe’s focus.

5. Flow

User experience is a journey that the user goes through when operating your product. The goal of product design is to make this journey as seamless as doable. It is possible to achieve this objective only when you think in terms of user interactions, not individual screens. Wireframes should always be questioned in terms of the experience you want to create. When you design for flow, you always think about how a particular screen will work with other screens. You should ask questions like what is the most important on this screen, how users are supposed to interact with it, or what they expect to see next, for instance.

6. Content Early in the Process

When you use real content you see whether or not it fits your layout. If real content does not fit your layout, then you will be forced to adapt your layout to your content. Dummy content does not generate valuable feedback during wireframe review sessions. It is difficult to get people’s opinions on something that they do not know about. Relevant content encourages more thoughtful feedback. If you do not have content, write content that is similar to the one you will end up using in a working product.

Bottom Line

Wireframes are a huge part of the design process. That is the reason why you must learn to control them and leverage them as much as you can.

Martín Etchegoyen

Martín Etchegoyen

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