Web Design’s First Step: Wireframes and Mockups
When it comes to web design and development, our approach always starts with custom wireframes or mockups. With an understanding of your users’ needs and your business goals in tow, we create a preliminary visual design before your website is fully realized and brought into the digital space.
What Are Wireframes?
Simply put, website wireframes illustrate the layout of your site. We like to think of it as a website blueprint that outlines the visual elements of your site — copy areas, images, call-to-action-buttons, navigation bars, forms, and more. In many cases, these mockups will include branded colors, typography, and other more specific visual details to closer represent the final vision for your website design.
We believe that beautiful, conversion-optimized websites hinge on successfully defining the most optimal and attractive layout from the jump. The wireframing phase streamlines communication from start to finish. This allows you to provide feedback early in the process. Ultimately, making for a more seamless and transparent web design experience.
Why Are They Important?
Wireframes also allow us to:
- Visualize how website content will fill out each page.
- A website that combines the best of copy and design maximizes user experience. From a design standpoint, wireframes set the stage for how content will flow down each page. In turn, this phase helps inform copywriting decisions when it comes to voice and tone, paragraph length, and more.
- Elements such as lists, call-to-actions, headers, and subheaders are all necessary considerations to be made by both a designer and content writer. With a wireframe, it’s easy to adjust these elements around on a page to arrive at a layout that will maximize the site user’s comprehension of page content.
- Refine the navigational experience.
- The wireframing process exposes how the website will flow from page to page in execution. In this phase, it’s easy to add additional pages and navigational elements before an entire website is built out, at which point it can be difficult to change direction.
- Determine web development features and requirements.
- Wireframing specific features — such as pop-ups, forms, eCommerce shops, map integrations, and more — provide a clear idea of how they will function, where they will live on the page, and how useful they will be. Doing this upfront helps keep the web developer on the same page as the wireframe designer when it comes time to tackle the execution of these elements.
At Cosmitto, we feel it’s important to give our clients a clear understanding of our development process and keep you informed on our plan before we execute anything. Wireframes allow us to do exactly that. For more insight on how we create custom websites that work, check out this blog post.