Creating a well-functioning website requires a lot of planning. There are so many elements that go into creating a website that taking the first step can feel daunting. A good place to start a website is with a wireframe.
A wireframe is to a website what a blueprint is for a house. While wireframes can take shape as whatever makes sense for your project, the standard wireframe is a black and white layout of the sizes, elements, features, navigation and other aspects of a project in their simplest forms. All design decisions are left out so that the structure of the project stands alone.
By using a wireframe, the chances of going back to revise the structure of the site with all of the other design elements incorporated are lowered. This prevents wasted time – and budget – during the development. In other words, having a strong plan from the beginning mitigates the need to rip up the carpets later.
When Celtic began to create a new website for Ardent Mills, our goal was to combine form and function into a site that users would enjoy. Because of the high number of products offered by Ardent Mills, we had to carefully craft the wireframe to house a large collection of products without feeling heavy or overwhelming. This was the greatest challenge from the outset of the build, and mapping it out in black and white before colors and photos were chosen helped set the stage for the full development.
Once we were able to confirm a strategic direction with the client team, it became much easier to incorporate the design elements, including colors, fonts, photos and iconography. While these touches are just as important to the finished site, knowing how to first properly lay the structural foundation will improve the overall development process and the finished product.