What is a mobile app wireframe?
A mobile app wireframe is a skeleton or a structure to design the layout, functionalities, and information architecture of the mobile app product. Wireframing is crucial to meet the needs and requirements of the users so that they can easily navigate the mobile design. A flow chart is created that explains how the information will flow on the mobile app. Key screens and interface elements are created to visually guide and illustrate how an application will work. Wireframing is ideal to communicate and explain your ideas to your team, clients, and stakeholders.
Designers start sketching the wireframe roughly on paper which is known as a low-fidelity wireframe. In this section, a flowchart is created that demonstrates the user’s flow, layout, structure, and content placement in the mobile app. After the testing of this phase with the internal team, a digital wireframe is created at a high-fidelity level for usability testing. It becomes easy for designers to work on the project once the structure of the mobile app gets approved by the client.
Best tools for mobile app Wireframing
There are extensive mobile app wireframing tools available online that can be used to create the best mobile wireframes. Following are the best tools for mobile wireframing:
- Abode Photoshop
- UX Pin
- Mock plus
What are the different steps of making a mobile app wireframe?
Research is the first step of creating a wireframe that helps you in identifying your users’ needs and requirements. It helps you in sketching the design according to their requirements. A well-researched mobile interface allows your users to easily interact with your mobile design interface. This factor will ultimately lead to an enhanced user experience. Implementing the UI/UX by researching the latest trends of UI/UX is also essential. Therefore, research is vital to ensure that your design is fulfilling the user’s requirements and meeting business goals.
Organized work for quick reference
The unorganized and unstructured work creates a lot of mess and makes you forget the important things that you need to follow. It can increase the workload, and you might struggle to both retain and recall the work you’ve already done. A well-organized computer document can help you in overcoming this problem and provide you with quick references. The document must contain your user personas, use cases, business goals (requirements), and maybe a few reminders of the best things you discovered throughout your research.
Map out the user flow of your mobile design
Creating a simple yet understandable user flow of your mobile design is a crucial step in wireframing. Designers must map out the user flow in a meaningful way that helps users to easily navigate the information. Structuring the information architecture lets designers organize each screen of the mobile app so that the user can easily find the information they need. So, it’s essential to map out the flow in the wireframe to improve the user experience.
Focus more on outlining features rather than detailing
It’s important to focus on sketching the idea rather than adding details because wireframing is all about illustrating the design concept and ideas simply and easily. Colors and aesthetics cannot describe the ideas and concepts, therefore the designer must focus less on detailing while creating a wireframe. The following questions can help designers in sketching out the skeleton of the mobile design.
- What method will you use to organize the content on the page such that it serves the aims of your users?
- What should be the most prominent piece of information? Where should you put your main message?
- What should a user see first when they open the app?
- What can the user anticipate to see in different features of the app?
- What is the goal of a specific app page?
Get your wireframe ready for testing
We’ve user flow and screens ready at this phase, now designers can include some informational details to the wireframe so that it can be progressed to prototype mode. Utilize simple, instructional words in the call action buttons. The screens are now ready for the first round of user testing when the detailing process is completed. During this phase, your coworkers will serve as your users, putting the design to the test. Usability Hub is a platform that allows you to test your screen, user flow, and get qualitative feedback on your design.
Turn your wireframes into prototypes
Prototyping is the high-fidelity model that is designed in the early stage of the project lifecycle to test the concept or process of the mobile app, design, or product. At this stage, a wireframe is converted to clickable prototypes by using wireframing tools. After receiving the feedback from the coworkers in the fifth step, the designers then import the outlined wireframes into the best prototyping tool and interlink screens for the second round of user testing. Finally, we’ve prototypes ready at this stage where design concepts are captured before the release.
Four key principles that help you in succeeding in mobile app wireframes
Simplicity and clarity
Simplicity is the key to making your wireframe more clear and understandable by your users. Making the wireframe colorful and visually appealing is not considered at this step as the goal is to make a simple and clear wireframe. Simplicity helps in creating clear-cut paths and exceptional informational hierarchy. For example, if users struggle to find information on the app, then it can lead to a bad impression. Therefore, making a simple wireframe is crucial for succeeding in a mobile app wireframe.
The designers must provide ease of navigation and clear call-to-action buttons in the mobile app. User’s confidence diminishes when the placement of CTA, content, and boxes are not properly placed. Designers must utilize a familiar navigation process in the wireframe to enhance user confidence.
Simple wireframes are preferred by team members over a 50-page functional spec document. As a result, adding simple and brief annotations to a wireframe can assist team members in receiving a quick overview of the mobile app layout and structure. All team members, users, and stakeholders will be able to grasp your thoughts and concepts briefly and simply.
Feedback from teammates, project managers, and stakeholders can all help you improve your wireframe. They will analyze the user flow, structure, layout, and content placement that you’ve prepared to provide feedback. When you receive reviews, feedback, and approval, it aids in the success of your project. It provides designers with the assurance that they are on the correct track. Furthermore, the content writer must be involved to receive comments on how to improve the arrangement of material on a website to improve user interaction.
Creating a mobile app framework is the first step involved in the project development phase. Wireframing helps in sketching the layout of the website according to the business goals and user’s needs. Designing a wireframe with easy navigation and interaction can help you in succeeding in mobile app wireframe design. Wireframing is the first step in which concepts are designed to test with co-workers, then comes the prototyping phase, which enables the designers to test their ideas and concepts with end-user. Approved design concepts and layouts without any errors and complexities can make the development process much easier. The best way to sketch a wireframe is to follow the necessary steps described above in this article.
Linda Hartley is a digital marketing manager at Appstirr, who loves to write content on the latest topics, including Blockchain, B2B business models, application development and much more.