Importance of Wireframes and Prototypes in UX Design
‘To design something really well you have to get it- chew it up, not just quickly swallow it.’ Think over these words said by Steve Jobs. When the term UX got invented, a series of new terms related to it came into picture. Wireframes and Prototypes were two of them.
Numerous times designers get befuddled between the terms ‘wireframes’ and ‘prototypes’, inspite of being an accomplished designer, conceivably because of the misconception or some different reasons. The contrast between these two terms are obvious and different. Presently, how about we recognise the two terms unmistakably.
Wireframe and prototype are vital parts of both website and Mobile application which are numerous a times neglected. The reason for them is to display the plan idea to the customers. In any case, the customers simply recommend on chopping down the outline procedure and improvement organises by avoiding the progression of wireframing or prototyping. This is a thought that frequently got from the customer who does not comprehend and esteem what a wireframe is, and what is a model.
Before explaining the difference, I think you must realise that they are different terms.
What is a wireframe?
A wireframe is a graphical skeleton of a website also called the grey version of the visual design, that guides the content and concepts of the pages, and helps designers and clients to discuss the details of the website building. It creates a pathway to the final design. The simple wireframe is a kind of low fidelity design, it consists of lines, boxes, and grayscale colors but is not clickable. The black-and-white layout can easily present the main information group, draw the outline of the structure and layout, and gives a reflection the main visual of the user interface.
Similar to the blueprint of a building, the wireframe specifies the niche details of the whole project at the initial stage as the project description. Because it is simple and fast to draw, the wireframe is often used for informal occasions, such as the internal communication. Thus, it cannot be used as the user testing material. The low-fi wireframes are generally created by lines, boxes, text, buttons, and other basic components. So, it’s easy to solve the problem of how to create a wireframe, and how to choose the wireframe design tools. Generally, the wireframing tools such as Mockplus and Balsamiq are often recommended and used by designers.
What is prototype?
Now we will talk about Prototypes. The prototype is somewhat close to the high-fidelity design. But is way different than the wireframe, it is more dynamic and interactive, some high-fidelity prototyping looks almost like the final product and are also clickable. It not only has the punctilious visual design but also provides a complete user experience for the testers by simulating the real product interface and functional interaction.
In addition to being used for project demonstration, the dynamic interactive prototypes are often used for user testing before the product development. It can save a huge amount of time and development costs. An annotated, team-friendly prototyping is more propitious for communication between designers and developers. It eliminates the cumbersome steps of file exchange within the designers and developers. For developers, they can push forward the product development more smoothly based on the final prototype.
In other words, we can say that a wireframe is a kind of prototype, it can be redesigned into a potential prototype. Functionality wise the prototype represents the final product, commonly used for potential user testing, wireframes are used for showing layouts and functions for discussion and feedback.
Both wireframes and prototypes has their own unique features and importance, I hope that the peculiarities behind the terms must have got cleared to some extent after reading this blog. Please do share your feedback, so that I can get inspired to write about more tips and facts about UX design.