Usage of wireframes for UX design testing ideas
Before proceeding to the wireframe, the necessary work on market and user research should be done. Without a common approach to product design, it is impossible to make a successful product that will be aimed at solving specific problems of a specific audience. Research of users from the target audience gives an understanding of their pain points when using the current product or other similar products on the market. Then the market as a whole is necessarily explored to find possible solutions and identify common points of pain for a wider target audience. Perhaps you have already heard this rule somewhere, but we will repeat it again. Without a clear understanding of the target audience and its problem and pain points it is impossible to create a successful product. An exception can only be a miracle, like winning the lottery.
An important stage in structuring the information obtained after researching the market and its users. A good solution would be to transfer this data to the mindmap. We have previously considered the importance of this tool in highlighting the truly important from the general list. Looking at the mindmap we make a few sketches on paper. Sketching is very important before creating the wireframe, it helps to quickly comprehend possible ways to further design the user interface, spending a minimum of time, which is a very important factor. The sketching is also easily readable and can be delivered to the stakeholder to clarify the general concept of the future user interface of the product.
The wireframe allows you to move from an abstract sketch to a clearer image of the future product. At this stage it is already possible to show how the functions will work, their exact position, how much will they correspond to the solution of the problem. It is also a big plus that at this design stage it is possible to understand the hardness of some solutions and abandon them in favor of a faster transition to a minimally viable product, which is very important in terms of saving the total time of product development. The wireframe allows already at this stage to see in real scale all the design elements, assess the path to conversion, ease of use, navigation. Wireframes can at this early stage point out the drawbacks of the architecture or functions selected for implementation earlier. Stakeholders, in turn, can assess at the stage of the wireframe the possibility of scaling and the potential for growth.
Types of wireframes
Many are mistaken in assuming that the wireframe is only a low-level paper sketch of the structure of the future product. Today it is possible to create wireframes of different levels of detailization in a short time at low cost effort. There are three types of widely used wireframes.
Low-fidelity wireframes These are interface illustrations in black and white that show the main screens. Elements on them are displayed as a block structure and the connections between them are shown by lines. These wireframes are designed to show the main product idea and key functions.
Medium-fidelity wireframes This wireframes created in a monochrome palette and very similar in appearance to the previous ones. Distinctive features are well-developed headings, paragraphs, images. It gives a great similarity to the product screen gives a clearer picture of the finished product.
High-fidelity wireframes (mockups) These wireframes are created in graphical tools. They are built with high attention to detail, color scheme, have a great similarity with the final visual appearance of the product interface. Much attention is paid to fonts and testing usability. The layout also corresponds to the values that will be in the final version of the product, which gives an idea of the static version of the interface of the future product.
The benefits of using wireframes
Wireframes are excellent solutions for defining a strategy for further development. With the help of wireframes, stakeholders will be able to see the realization of the main ideas of their product without distracting to other moments, such as the difficulty of choosing images, color schemes, and so on. At this stage, the idea materializes into a visual concept of the product. Feedback allows you to focus on achieving your goals.
Wireframes provide a comprehensive view of the functionality of the pages, catching and fixing problems at this initial stage of product development. Careful testing of possible mechanical interactions and the elimination of difficulties will avoid significant costs in the future.
Wireframes allow you to learn more about user of the product. Creating possible interaction scenarios based on frameworks will provide good feedback and constructive improvements to the concept. After all, the collected reviews at this stage may indicate the need to correct the product strategy.
Frameworks are great at helping to prioritize the display of content, based on a real interface, to better understand internal constraints. Stakeholders also at this early stage can clearly choose a content placement strategy that in the future will have a positive impact on the time spent on developing a user interface.
Wireframe vs Prototype
Do not confuse the concepts of wireframes and prototypes. Wireframes are focused on the development of the interface structure of the future project. Prototypes are created for a detailed study of specific elements of the user interface, its general style, layout. The prototype is already more detailed layout of the product concept, called to approve the final design solution. The main goal of the prototype is to give the stakeholders to verify the correctness of the design decisions before the development team can begin their work. The prototypes are based on static wireframes making them interactive, allowing you to probe fully the mechanics of interaction and draw a conclusion about the real experience of interaction with the concept of the future of the product to the stakeholders.