What Is Wireframing? Wireframing In A Nutshell

Wireframing involves the creation of a blueprint or schematic that helps designers and programmers think about the structure of an app or website. Wireframing, therefore, is the process of creating a two-dimensional outline of an app or website.

Understanding wireframing

These outlines are called wireframes and provide an overview of user flow, information architecture, functionality, and page structure or layout. Since many wireframes represent an initial concept, other elements such as color, graphics, and styling feature less prominently.

Wireframes can be created digitally or simply drawn by hand. They are used to foster stakeholder consensus before the interface is sent to the developers to be built out.

Five reasons to incorporate wireframing

Wireframing is an important part of the design process and should not be overlooked or rushed. Consider these seven reasons for incorporating the approach:

Visual architecture representation

Wireframing is often the first point at which the project is represented visually. They also improve on the somewhat abstract nature of a flowchart with something more tangible.

Feature clarification

Wireframing also communicates concepts or ideas that some stakeholders may not understand in a theoretical sense. In other words, the process stipulates how certain features will function, where they will reside, and their utility.

Scalability potential

A wireframe can also be implemented to ensure a website can cope with content growth. For example, a company that plans to increase its product offering from 50 to 200 will want a website that can accommodate this increase without impacting usability or site architecture.

Time and cost-saving

The process of wireframing saves time since the development team has a better grasp on what it is building. There is also increased clarity around content creation. Wireframes themselves are quick and inexpensive to produce, allowing the company to identify user pain points for relatively little expenditure.


Some businesses make the mistake of trying to combine the functionality and layout of their website with more creative or brand-related aspects in one step. However, wireframing is an iterative process where aspects are considered one at a time. This allows the client to provide feedback earlier and avoid costly fixes later.

Three different types of wireframes

There are three main types of wireframes.


These serve as the starting point of a design and as a result, feature simple visual representations that are created without a scale or sense of pixel accuracy. They tend to be primitive and exclude details that could serve as a distraction. 

Low-fidelity wireframes can be used in situations where there are multiple product concepts and the designer needs to know which one to pursue.


Mid-fidelity wireframes depict a more accurate representation of an app or website and are one of the most commonly used. 

They feature components with more detail that allow them to be differentiated from one another, but they still omit potentially distracting elements. For example, various shades of black and white may be utilized to provide visual prominence between specific elements. 

These wireframes tend to be created using a digital tool such as Balsamiq or Sketch.


High-fidelity wireframes incorporate detailed, pixel-specific layouts, written content, and imagery. This makes them well suited to more complex projects such as interactive maps or menu systems.

As a result, high-fidelity wireframes are used in the final stages of the product design lifecycle. 

Key takeaways:

  • Wireframing is the process of creating a two-dimensional outline of an app or website.
  • Wireframing is an important part of the design process and should be rushed, overlooked, or combined with other processes. There are many reasons to incorporate the process, including visual architecture representation, time and cost savings, scalability potential, and feature clarification.
  • Wireframing incorporates three wireframe types: low-fidelity, mid-fidelity, and high-fidelity. Each is associated with a particular level of detail and stage in the product lifecycle. 

Connected Business Concepts


Psychosizing is a form of market analysis where the size of the market is guessed based on the targeted segments’ psychographics. In that respect, according to psychosizing analysis, we have five types of markets: microniches, niches, markets, vertical markets, and horizontal markets. Each will be shaped by the characteristics of the underlying main customer type.

Customer Experience Map

Customer experience maps are visual representations of every encounter a customer has with a brand. On a customer experience map, interactions called touchpoints visually denote each interaction that a business has with its consumers. Typically, these include every interaction from the first contact to marketingbranding, sales, and customer support.

360-Degree Feedback

360-degree feedback is a comprehensive performance feedback strategy for employees. Traditionally, performance feedback was solely given by the employee’s direct superior. In 360 degree feedback, however, anonymous feedback is given by a range of individuals that the employee has a working relationship with. These include managers, colleagues, and in some cases, customers.

Switching Costs

Switching costs consist of the costs incurred by customers to change a product or service toward another similar product and service. In some cases, switching costs can be monetary (perhaps, improving a cheaper product), but in many other cases, those are based on the effort and perception that it takes to move from a brand to another.

Customer Development

Customer development is a formal process of identifying potential customers and determining how to meet their needs using testable hypotheses. Entrepreneur and business professor Steve Blank highlighted the Customer Development Manifesto principles in The Startup Owner’s Manual as the core principles for modern startups.

User Experience Design

The term “user experience” was coined by researcher Dr. Donald Norman who said that “no product is an island. A product is more than the product. It is a cohesive, integrated set of experiences. Think through all of the stages of a product or service – from initial intentions through final reflections, from first usage to help, service, and maintenance. Make them all work together seamlessly.” User experience design is a process that design teams use to create products that are useful and relevant to consumers.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

A cost-benefit analysis is a process a business can use to analyze decisions according to the costs associated with making that decision. For a cost analysis to be effective it’s important to articulate the project in the simplest terms possible, identify the costs, determine the benefits of project implementation, assess the alternatives.

Empathy Mapping

Empathy mapping is a visual representation of knowledge regarding user behavior and attitudes. An empathy map can be built by defining the scope, purpose to gain user insights, and for each action, add a sticky note, summarize the findings. Expand the plan and revise.

Perceptual Mapping

Perceptual mapping is the visual representation of consumer perceptions of brands, products, services, and organizations as a whole. Indeed, perceptual mapping asks consumers to place competing products relative to one another on a graph to assess how they perform with respect to each other in terms of perception.

Value Stream Mapping

Value stream mapping uses flowcharts to analyze and then improve on the delivery of products and services. Value stream mapping (VSM) is based on the concept of value streams – which are a series of sequential steps that explain how a product or service is delivered to consumers.

Read the remaining product development frameworks here.

Read Next: Business AnalysisCompetitor Analysis, Continuous InnovationAgile MethodologyLean StartupBusiness Model InnovationProject Management.

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