From my own, personal experience, I assume you can categorise your website design process into two sections: the style procedure that doesn't utilize a prototyping tool
, as well as the the one that does. Being on both sides with this fence, I have an awareness of the way both of these processes work and even though designing without a wireframe does work, I'd personally must vote in preference of them.
Wireframing, the development of a "visual blueprint", must not be overly complicated. At most basic level, I've come across wireframes that are simply are series of post-it notes using the interface (UI) elements utilized them. These are then placed onto a sheet of paper to exhibit the structural layout. Match it up to wireframes produced through design software and you'll go to a slightly more refined wireframe from the latter, but it doesn't matter how you intend to create your structural model, the result is always the identical. The bottomline is, it shows yourself, the buyer and other party where things will likely be situated on the page.
This is sometimes a real time saver if you're creating a website to get a client. Finding comfort my era of located on "side A" of the fence, when creating a website for any client I never utilized to perform any wireframing process back then. The complete process contains: gathering requirements, spec'ing out the website, creating the graphical UI then building your website if the design have been agreed. The most important flaw I discovered within this process could be the possibility of the consumer planning to affect the main layout quite considerably. I'd have no problem should they simply want to tweak things every now and then e.g. colours, make text larger, add some more images here and there, result in the video a lttle bit bigger (the typical stuff); but it was a good deal more painful should they then need to move numerous things about on the page that directly affected the "page template". Jumping to "side B" in the fence and producing the wired layout for your site implies that layout could be agreed beforehand knowing that once the UI design is presented, you might then only have to update the typical stuff.
The need to Spell it out for Clients
Even when presenting a wireframe to a client though, I have had occasions where they might be unwilling to sign this part off on the grounds which it looks very "blocky" and "plain". "Yes it does" can be my immediate reply to this as these blocks will determine where we're going to put things on your lovely page in order that if you get back to me afterwards when you've reviewed the graphical design, you can't then tell me why's the navigation up here and not over there? Trust me, I've had clients like this before so even though producing a wireframe, there might be occasions when you still must spell it out that is only to obtain the layout correct for starters, then we'll apply the pretty little bit into it afterwards.
An Arsenal of Design Software
There's no need to necessarily know your way around Adobe software to be able to produce some decent wireframes. I take advantage of a web-based tool, Cacoo, to make mine. This online software allows you to drag and drop pre-created elements on your page. This could save considerable time in the process.?
As with everything web related, everyone will have their particular opinion with this topic, but my own preference is by using a wireframe each and every time I'm designing an online site. Whether it is for any client or for my own site, it doesn't matter because it ensures that the UI design is sped up because you're effectively working from a template.
When you're working on a project for any client, then aiming to have Joe Bloggs sign off the wires before you start about the UI is a part of this design method that I might call fundamental to ensuring that you maintain good budget and personal time management on the project.