A Concise Guide on How to Make a Wireframe For an App

6minutes read
how to create a wireframe for an app

Wireframes are an essential step in any design process. Wireframes primarily define the hierarchy of information in your design. They help determine the place of elements in the layout, depending on how we would like them to perceive the information.

Wireframes are essential because they allow the designer to plan the layout of elements and interaction with the interface without being distracted by color, font, or even text. If the user cannot figure out what to do on a black and white wireframe, the color is unlikely to help. The button should be visible even without the glitter and bright colors.

If you are just deciding to start creating a mobile application or just want to delve into the topic of wireframes, this article is for you. We propose to talk more detail about what wireframes are, what they are for, and explain step by step how to make an app wireframe so that your project would be successful.

What is a wireframe for an app, and why it’s crucial in product design?

Wireframes are schematic screen layouts. Their goal is to show what the project will be like.

Classic wireframes are built from gray and white blocks. The use of symbols is allowed. But there should be no images in the wireframe. If you still can’t do without them, it is recommended to use placeholders.

Wireframes are designed to display design intent simply and understandably. They are reviewed and approved by stakeholders and developers. They are worked on before the designer starts creating high-quality mockups, which take much longer.

Besides, these sketches help ensure that the content architecture is well planned. It is essential to ensure that the relevant text resources are specified in the wireframe and not empty placeholders.

what is a wireframe for an app
what is an app wireframe

Finally, wireframes make it easy to visualize navigation patterns and processes. Often, prototype sketches are made from them. Thus, designers can quickly check and approve some aspects of the project plan.

Wireframes target:

  • type of information displayed
  • range of available functions
  • relative priority of data and functions
  • display rules for some types of information
  • the effect of different scenarios on the display

What are the wireframe benefits?

what are the main wireframe benefits
main wireframe benefits
  • Clear visualization of the structure of the future application.

A wireframe is the starting point for a design project. It’s like the skeleton of your application, which turns abstract ideas into something more tangible.

  • Clarification of interface features.

The wireframe is a simple way to show the client at the initial stage of creating an application design, how everything will work in the product, what functions each of the icons will perform and how useful they will be.

  • Creation of usability.

Ease of use is the very first and foremost design motto of any product. Wireframes strip out images and color and focus on the ‘bones’ of the design so that everyone can take an objective look at an app’s ease of use, navigation and feature placement, conversion paths, and link naming.

  • Saving time and effort.

The app wireframing makes mobile UX design more calculated. It is much easier for a development team to understand what they have to build when they have an exact blueprint (framework); content creation becomes much clearer. Wireframes help alleviate misunderstandings in the team working on the project and give the client a clear understanding of how the future application interface will look and how it will work.

A step-by-step plan on how to build a wireframe for an app by Gapsy

Like any design process, wireframing involves dividing into stages. Our Gapsy team offers you a quick tutorial on creating the right wireframes to be a design assistant.

1) Conduct user and market research

The first starting point of application wireframe building should be user research. At this stage, you should define your target audience and make a marketing profile for your user:

  • age,
  • gender,
  • occupation,
  • income level,
  • interests,
  • education,
  • needs,
  • desires, etc.
how to create a wireframe customer profile for an app
how to create a wireframe customer profile for the mobile app

Our ultimate and most important goal in creating any product is to make it so and that it would be in demand among users and satisfy the target audience’s desires. That’s why you need to know exactly what user problems you will solve or what desires to meet.

You also need to research the market. Make a list of your competitors and find their strengths/weaknesses. The results of this research will help you better understand what values ​​should be in your application. Considering your user’s needs, prioritize your future product’s functions to understand what to develop finally.

After user research, you should get:

  • a structured market information
  • research of competitors (their strengths and weaknesses)
  • a list of functions that should be in your application
  • UX priorities
  • a map of potential users.

2) Prepare a schematic draft of a wireframe

The next step in creating wireframes is to create a rough draft. Wireframing means prioritizing content, interactive details, and how users will use your product. Wireframes drafts are ideas of what your application might look like. A single wireframe can have multiple drafts that you can use to discuss app features, format, Ux details, and functionality with other team members.

how to create a wireframe schematic draft for an app
how to create a schematic draft for wireframe for the mobile app

When creating a draft wireframe, the Gapsy team does the following:

  • Determine how many screens are needed for a mobile application
  • We approve what type of content will be presented on each screen of the application
  • Decide which content is more (or less) necessary for each screen
  • Determine what will be the message (purpose) of each screen
  • We look at these screens from users (we ask ourselves what the user expects to find in this part of the screen)
  • Add buttons and define where users go after performing actions.

In this step, you can use paper with a pen, digital boards, and tools to create a draft. Sometimes you may need to present a draft and discuss it as a team to make your work more productive.

3) Design app wireframe

By this stage, you should already know a lot about your future mobile application, its functionality, what the content will be, and much more. And of course, by this stage, you need to decide on which platform you will create your product – for IOS or Android (or for both of these platforms). Speaking of platforms, we recommend analyzing your target audience and seeing which platform is more prevalent among them. But here, you should know that wireframes for Android devices are usually much more comfortable to create than for IOS since the creative platform for IOS is more standardized, and many devices work on it.

After you decide on the platform, you need to start creating the wireframe.

So, we select the necessary elements for the wireframes app:

  • application screens
  • content modules (this includes links, potential images, buttons, icons)
  • allocation of space
  • transitions between screens
  • user path map
how to design wireframes for mobile app
how to design a wireframe for an app

Usually, there is no specific time frame for creating a wireframe. It all depends on the complexity of the project. The more complicated it is, the longer it will take to create a wireframe. A UX designer creates wireframes.

Still not sure what is the difference between UI and UX design? Then we suggest that you read our article about the difference between UI and UX design to understand better how they differ and what task is inherent in which of the designers.

4) Collect feedback from your users and improve your wireframe accordingly

At this point, you need to approve your wireframe with your entire team and discuss it with your client. If everything suits him and he is satisfied, the next step is to show his target audience. If the target audience and the client are satisfied, the stage of creating wireframes is over, and you can move on to other design and development processes. The approved wireframes are handed over to the design, illustrator, and user interface team. Based on this version of the UX product, planning of marketing campaigns and PR, as well as building the mobile application code, will take place.

how to make a collection of feedbacks for an app wireframe
how to create an app wireframe collection of feedbacks

Wrapping up

Any wireframe’s primary goal is to create a high-quality UX design for your product – be it a website or a mobile application, absolutely no limit. Wireframes help to think through UX design to the smallest detail and lay its foundation, define the user journey, the functionality of the future application, understand the distribution of content, and identify the future interface’s key elements.

In design, wireframes are like bones in the human body; it is a frame without which the future product’s standard functionality is impossible.

Suppose you are thinking about creating a mobile application of any kind and for any purpose and are not sure that you can cope with its creation yourself. In that case, we offer you the services of our professional team of designers who will help you create a high-quality wireframe and the entire product corresponding to all trends in the design world and satisfies all the needs of the target audience. To make sure that we are professionals in our field, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with our portfolio on Dribbble and see our services.

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