Sharing feedback about text positioning and size after the app is developed doesn’t seem like a good idea. Not only does it put the whole hard work of developers to waste, but it also costs the owners a lot of time and money. To avoid the scenario, app designers create mobile app wireframes to ensure that the core app development process only begins when the owner likes the colors, theme, and design.
However, creating mobile app wireframing should not be confused with the design and visuals of the app only. It plays a big role in the overall planning of the software. The app owner can get a slight idea about the application’s features, functions, and appearance, give the necessary feedback, and increase the chances of a successful project.
- What Are Mobile App Wireframes?
- What Is the Need to Design-Create Mobile App Wireframes?
- What Are the Types of Wireframes?
- Benefits of Creating Mobile App Wireframing in the App Design Process
- 12 Steps to Create Mobile App Wireframe
- 3 Powerful Tips for -How to Design and Create Mobile App Wireframe
- Tools Required to Create Mobile App Wireframes
- FAQ – How to Create Mobile Wireframes
What Are Mobile App Wireframes?
Mobile app wireframes are generally the 2-dimensional sketches of the software that represent the designs, colors, texts, and overall appearance of the mobile app. The mobile app developers with limited resources create rough sketches with pen and paper that give an overall glance of the basic look of the app. On the other hand, developers with good knowledge and resources develop advanced wireframes that even represent the features and functioning of the application. These kinds of prototypes are capable of describing every minute detail of the software, be it the positioning or the feel of the application.
These wireframes are built without any significant technical investment to help the clients experience the application in real time and give valuable feedback, corrections, or queries. It saves a lot of time for both parties to develop an application that meets expectations.
What Is the Need to Design-Create Mobile App Wireframes?
The mobile app wireframes deliver different purposes at the same time to make the development process smoother and streamline the overall lifecycle of the project. The core purpose of designing a mobile app wireframe is given below-
1. Error Prevention
First, the wireframe helps marvelously eliminate the chances of errors in the process. The overall development process can be enhanced by figuring out the corrections and areas of improvement.
2. Live Demonstration
The wireframe mobile app helps bring a live demonstration of the original software to the forefront, which helps all the stakeholders better understand the software.
3. Understand the Benefits
Such wireframes are the best medium to understand how a particular mobile app or software will benefit the target audience. Thus, it is widely used to generate investment as well.
4. Prevent Future Mistakes
By sharing the wireframe or prototype among all the stakeholders, the errors, bugs, or problems can be identified in the earlier stage which doesn’t impact the software in the future.
5. Save Money and Time
Wireframe helps to make the changes at the right time so the development team doesn’t repeat the same mistake as that designer. It saves a lot of time and money for the developers.
What Are the Types of Wireframes?
Before we discuss how to create mobile app wireframes, let’s discuss the types of mobile app wireframes. As we discussed slightly in the above section, wireframes are of different types. The different type of functionalities of mobile app, along with the resources available to the developers creates the need for three different types of wireframes. Here are the three core types of wireframes-
1. Low-fidelity Wireframe
Low fidelity is one of the simplest forms of wireframes, which carries a less-detailed visual representation of different components integrated into the mobile application. This kind of wireframe is generally considered the starting point of the app’s user flow and project. Low-fidelity wireframes typically carry the image placeholders, filler texts, and blocks.
2. Mid-fidelity Wireframe
This is the slightly advanced update of the low-fidelity wireframe, which adds more refinement to the user flows. As the technical integration increases in this wireframe, it provides high-level details about the software. All a business analyst has to do is simply vary the text weights and make the efficient content spacing. This assists the designer in creating the designs based on different color variations with shades of grey.
3. High-fidelity Wireframe
As the name suggests, this is the most advanced version of the wireframes that offers the detailed pixel to design the application. Different components like final copies, text hierarchy, and UI elements are used in this version to ensure the efficiency of everything that goes into the final design. The project owner can get a keen idea about the features and functionalities of the software with the help of a high-fidelity wireframe.
Benefits of Creating Mobile App Wireframing in the App Design Process
Mobile app wireframing is a significant beneficial practice in the app designing process, delivering many advantages to the project owner, designers, and team of developers. Defining, in simpler words, wireframes helps bridge the gap between initial thoughts and the final user-focused product to achieve the best results.
So, here are the major benefits of building a mobile app wireframe in the app design process-
1. Creates a Better Understanding of the Application
The success of any project depends on its offering and the problem it is solving for the end user. So, a wireframe helps you to document the use cases and purpose of your mobile app, along with the reasons why users will show interest in the app. Each step of the application can be described virtually while interpreting the purpose and benefit of each function for the end user. At the same time, anyone can better understand the vision behind the app and how efficient it is to achieve its purpose.
2. Keeps the App Development Process User-centric
Understanding the use cases of the application helps the designer create a user-friendly interface for better and more effective user interaction and enhance the overall experience with the software. So, a wireframe is also considered the first step to define the context behind user actions. At the same time, the app prototype or wireframe allows changes to ensure that the app design is created according to the expectations.
3. Helps to Save a Lot of Money and Time in Designing and Coding
Wireframes cost a fraction of that high-level UI/UX design elements pricing. Talking about the basic one, a prototype only takes a pen and paper to draw the visual representation of the application to define the layout within a few hours. A wireframe doesn’t need any coding, and thus, the modification in the prototype can be done very easily without any cost. So, developing a wireframe is a better idea to finalize the designs and layouts.
12 Steps to Create Mobile App Wireframe
Creating a wireframe is one of the initial stages of mobile app development. Still, there are certain steps that one has to undergo to create an efficient mobile app wireframe. Here are the 12 core steps to create a mobile app wireframe-
Step 1: Research the App Idea
First of all, conduct thorough research about your app idea. Answer questions like who will be the target audience, what problem the app will solve, and how it will stand out from competitors. It will help you develop a better vision of the app, evaluate the peer companies and ideas, and take the measured steps.
Step 2: Map Out the User Flow
User flow refers to the series of tasks that a user will undertake to perform a certain action in the application. Input the features that will streamline the user journey on the application. At the same time, the user flow will help determine the number of screens required in the application.
Step 3: Choose the Tool to create a mobile app wireframe
This step chooses the tool to create the wireframe mobile app. There are several actions like Balsamiq, Sketch, Zeplin, Figma, and Justinmind to choose from the mobile app wireframe. Some of these tools are free to use, and others are paid.
Step 4: Create the Basic Wireframe
While creating the basic wireframe, the zoning approach is used in this step whether or not all elements are being sketched. It prevents laying everything at once, which helps to save time and eliminate complexities in the process. Once the owner is satisfied with the basic wireframe, they can jump to a detailed wireframe.
Step 5: Start Wireframing by Setting a Mobile Frame
In this step, the mobile frame is established that will be used throughout the wireframing process. This wireframe helps to visualize the app’s design and closely mimics the working type. For the same, a rectangle frame with dimensions identical to an ideal mobile screen.
Step 6: Determine the Layout Using Boxes
This is the time when the hierarchy system for your content is created, which helps in navigating the app for the users. Boxes of different sizes are used to create a content layout.
Step 7: Design Patterns
Attractive and familiar designs are used to deliver the best user experience in the wireframe. Also, familiar designs help the users to rely on their device usage history when trying a new application.
Step 8: Bring in the Actual Copy
This is the time when the actual content is added to the wireframe, which replaces the dummy texts with bits and pieces. Generally, challenges like the same UI element doesn’t fit perfectly for multiple screens are faced in this stage. So, it is advised to innovate, test, and iterate as much as possible.
Step 9: Ensure Efficient Content Scalability
Once the content has been established properly, it is important to ensure that the content scales out nicely and looks well on different screen sizes. Also, there should not be any negative impact on the mobile app user experience. Continue to check the appearance of the layout on different devices and frames and then decide on the update.
Step 10: Connect the pages to create a flow
Having designed all the individual screen pages, it is time to connect all those pages and ensure that the development team understands how the function will work as a whole. This combination of user flows with the wireframes is also known as workflows, which helps developers understand the different paths a user will take to use the app.
Step 11: Test the Design Decisions
Each design is tested in this step to see how effectively the screens perform in real time. One doesn’t need to wait until developing a working prototype. Moreover, the developer can test the design with users to get approval from the stakeholders.
Step 12: Turn the wireframe into the prototype
Now, the wireframe is ready to be turned into the prototype. You will have a high-fidelity prototype at this stage that gives a more realistic and engaging experience. This prototype also acts as a foundation for MVP design and development.
3 Powerful Tips for -How to Design and Create Mobile App Wireframe
Designing the wireframe carries a significant role in the app development process. It represents the idea before it walks into the final development and is converted into a real-life application. It becomes necessary in this situation to build a creative and informative wireframe that can represent the idea efficiently and effectively. Here are some of the tips that help to design a competitive wireframe-
|Finger-friendly design||Most of the time, mobile app designs are very responsive because there are huge numbers of mobile screen sizes and pixel densities. So, you should impart a design that works well with all of the iPhone and Android models. For the same, one can use a 375*667 px size artboard with wireframing tools like Adobe XD.|
|Design as per screen size limitation||Mobile app designs are, most of the time, very responsive due to the fact that there are huge numbers of mobile screen sizes and pixel densities. So, you should impart a design that works well with all of the iPhone and Android models. For the same, one can use a 375*667 px size artboard with wireframing tools like Adobe XD.|
|Ensure Mobile Interaction Design Principle & Convention||The mobile app design and interaction should be identical when using multiple operating systems like Android and iOS. One must not feel unfamiliarity when switching through the operating systems as it helps significantly to enhance the user experience.|
Tools Required to Create Mobile App Wireframes
Different types of tools are roaming around the market, which makes the wireframe development process easier and smoother. Here are some of the great tools that will help you create wireframes for a mobile app-
Adobe XD is one of the easy-to-use tools for creating the mobile app wireframe. The modest user interface of this tool makes it a simple option for beginners to create professional app wireframes. The toolkits integrated with Adobe XD contribute toward responsive content orientation, stability, and easy duplication of characteristics.
This is a cloud-based wireframing that is available in both paid and unpaid formats. The core competencies of Figma enable the speedy creation of wireframes without any need for complex features. It also helps in removing the tedious tasks of keeping final designs, elements, and artboards in the cloud.
This tool was released in 2010 and has maintained a premier spot as a powerful vector design tool for Mac users. Some of the benefits that Sketch brings with it are the pixel-based canvas for easy vector designs and real-time collaboration in a shared workspace with color-coded cursors. However, this tool doesn’t have any built-in UI components.
This is one of the best wireframe creation tools for beginners, as the simplicity and ease of use of Moqups even help new designers to work with it. This tool is a great choice for creating a variety of designs and sitemaps, from flowcharts to wireframes, graphs, and mockups. The core competencies of this tool are plenty of team collaboration options and its easy usability for different elements.
UXPin (Web, macOS, Windows)
UXPin is the most preferred wireframing tool for anyone who is learning wireframing building. The built-in library of UI elements helps the users drag and drop the elements onto the canvas. Higher-fidelity wireframing, robust live presentation and documentation abilities, and focus on design ops are some of the best things about this wireframing tool.
Wireframing a mobile app is one of the best ways to build an understanding of the app idea among the stakeholders. While a wireframe efficiently defines the navigation, features, and functionalities, receiving feedback and recommendations from the concerned parties is equally beneficial. However, developing a wireframe might not be that easy for a beginner. A range of tools, development lifecycles, and tips to build wireframes work collaboratively to generate the expected outcomes. In this blog, we have defined the complete lifecycle of a wireframe development process along with the factors that transfigure the end results.