5 Reasons Why Wireframing is Important in Web Design

By April 16, 2014 No Comments

You may have heard the term “wireframing” at some point in time when talking to a web company about a new design or redesign, but what is wireframing after all? Wireframing allows you to determine the information hierarchy of your design while making it easier for you to plan out the content and user experience. Here’s how it usually works:

I was recently asked to design a website for a new client. Immediately, I had lots of creative ideas coming to mind, and I jumped right into the design process. However, without a set structure to base these creative thoughts around, I began to feel overwhelmed with content placement, colors, fonts and so on. My creative masterpiece started to become an oatmealed mess. So I quickly went back to my web design roots and started to wireframe with simple gray boxes and plain black text. I also met with my SEO specialist to help determine the sitemap hierarchy and placement of icons, images and content.

During this project, wireframing allowed me to see the content and focus on how I wanted the user to experience the flow of the site without being distracted by color schemes and fonts. It also allowed my client to better understand why I made the choices I did and helped eliminate painful layout changes in the long run.

Still asking why you need a wireframe? Here are 5 reasons why wireframing is important in web design:

1. Visually displays your information hierarchy

A sitemap with a list of links can be very overwhelming to a client and even the designer. By laying out the site map visually, you are able to see exactly how the pages fall into place allowing you to make adjustments before you get too far ahead.

MVU Wireframe

2. Helps identify CTA’s and other important information

Forget about colors and styles so you don’t get ahead of yourself and determine your call to actions. Start by asking yourself, “What do I want a user to do when they get to my site? What steps do I want them take?” By removing the element of design, you will be able direct your focus to these important aspects of your website.

MVU Call to action

3. Constructs the layout and placement of content

Now that you know what information is the most important, you can decide where everything should go on your site. You might even take some extra time to meet with your SEO department to get assistance in this area. They can help you determine the best placement for your CTA’s and other important site information.

MVU Layout

4. Helps you determine features

Wireframing also helps you determine what features you want and need on your website to include them within the wireframe. When it comes to features, think about integrating 3rd party services such as Olark chat, social media icons or Google maps on your website and include those in your wireframe.

MVU Features

5. Skip lorem ipsum and use real words.

Real words will help you and your client have a better idea of what the site will look and feel like. Your clients will get a better understanding of your overall concept when you include real text in areas like headings and call to actions, and they can focus on the words without being too distracted by the design. It may take more time in the beginning, but it will save you time and headaches in the long run.


When you include wireframing in your design process, you win as the designer in the end. Not only is the transition from wireframing to design a breeze but you also eliminate the constant headache of word and template changes later in the process. Once wireframes are approved you can start designing in the same file. Since everything is already measured you can simply apply styles right to the existing template, making for a speedy design process and a stellar end result.

What other steps in the design process do you think are important?

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