6 Ways Wireframing Can Increase Your Productivity


A website wireframe is the blueprint of a website. It is a sketch of the layout that the final website will hold. I’m sure you already know this stuff, but if you didn’t, then here you go.

Wireframes help us web designers to get an idea of the whole design before actually getting our hands dirty with colors, fonts and other detailed stuff. Wireframing technique helps us arrange web elements according to functionality, user experience and web behavior. Colors and other web elements don’t distract so the complete attention stays on the layout i.e. the wireframe.

With wireframes we can save time yet can create even better websites. Today I will explain how I achieve both these things.

List of Contents:

What is a wireframe?

A wireframe can be a pencil sketch, a marker drawing on a whiteboard or anything such. Basic idea is that a it is a sketch of the final web design but it focuses completely on the content, user experience and conversion rates.

Low-Fidelity Wireframes

This type of wireframes don’t include many details, rather they are like pencil sketches or first models. For instance, if you in a meeting with the client, and he/she gives you an idea so you draw it immediately… that’s a low fidelity wireframe.

High-Fidelity Wireframes

High fidelity wireframes are more detailed and they are used for documenting things. For instance, the client has sent his/her demands in an email and you are supposed to sketch it up and send it over.

The wireframe you will send over will be detailed and finalized version of some initial level sketches. That wireframe will be a high fidelity wireframe.

I guess our introduction is complete enough, now we can move on to the real stuff.

Understanding the Needs

Believe me, almost all of the web design failures occur during this stage. The very first step of defining the needs.

Clients aren’t always able to define their needs but as their designer, you have to do understand them anyhow.

If it is an ecommerce website, your target is not to create a superb design, rather create a design that sells stuff, that generates conversions.
Similarly, all clients have their specific needs. Those needs can be sign ups, sales, information delivery or anything such. A good design is that fills the purpose.

Taking the inspiration

So once you have the needs clear in your mind, it is now time to acquire ideas for your design wireframe.

What do you do? You surf the web.

There are many websites such as CSS Awards and Awwwards that will help you for this purpose.

Using Proper Tools

An engineer is nothing without his tools. Just like that you won’t be able to create great wireframes without proper tools.

Here’s a selection of tools that you can use to create brilliant wireframes.

Wireframe Tools

You can of course use Adobe Illustrator or even Photoshop for creating these wireframes and there’s nothing wrong with it. But the following apps were created specifically for the purpose of creating wireframes.


This is probably the best online app if you have never designed a wifreframe before. It is extremely simple.
The drawback is that it doesn’t include any advanced level features.

Wireframe cc

Mockup Builder

This is an advanced level standalone software for professionals. It can contains all the advanced level options.

Facebook Mockup

Axure RP

Comparatively, Axure is quite a costly software. The regular version costs $289 and pro version costing up to $589. But then again, 60% of Fortune100 companies use Axure.



They have made a video, why don’t you take a look.


This is relatively a new tool but it has gained popularity in a brief period of time. Here’s their video.


This is a little different. This is a wireframe tool… but its not. It creates wireframes… but you don’t create them. I’m having difficulty describing it, here’s their 1-minute video.

Creating Your First Wireframe

This is basically a 4-step process:

  1. Set a grid
  2. Draw the layout
  3. Hide grid
  4. Evaluate functionality
  5. Redo (if necessary)

Whenever you feel that the last step isn’t required anymore, you’re done. Good job.

Pro Tips for Creating Wireframes that Sell

This part is the juice of the article. Earlier, I was only speaking to the beginners but this is the part that is the cream of my experience in the industry.

Always use real data for filling the wireframe. No lorem ipsum stuff.

First Wireframe

The design changes hugely once you put in your real data. I strongly recommend that you always use real data for creating wireframes.

Design Independent Wireframes for All Devices


Sometimes what happens is that we forget to design independent wireframes. This results into design failures because hierarchy of the design changes completely when it is opened on a different website.
To preserve the hierarchy, we need to create independent wireframes for all devices.

Create Hi-Definition Wireframes

Remember we talked about hi-fidelity wireframes? Well, high-definition wireframes go a step ahead of that.

These are high contrast wireframes that CAN carry color. However, their looks are the most significant feature of the design. The looks make us call it a high definition wireframe.


Grayscale Example

high definition design

Colored Example

high definition design with color

Related Reads

Now even though I have covered the basic stuff right here, there’s never too much to learn. So here are two articles I think everyone should study (these are not sponsored links):


Let’s quickly summarize the whole article now.

First and most important thing is that you must understand the needs and set your expectations right. Once that is done, half of the work is done.

Then comes the time of sketching the wireframe. Use the tool that you are most comfortable with but you also keep in mind that you need to use the tool that saves the most time.

Create the sketch using real data. Once you have the final sketch, convert it into a presentable form. High definition wireframes work the best.

That’s it. Now please share your opinions and suggestions for creating and presenting wireframes in the comments section below. I and your fellow readers anxiously await your input.

create free website wix below post

Further Related Readings

  1. @theTimoyer April 1, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Great article and helpful advice.
    OmniGraffle may also be a good resource to add to the wireframing app list.

    1. Ayaz Malik April 1, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks TheTimoyer, i will take a look at omniGraffle

  2. Eileen Coyle April 3, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Hi, I’d suggest checking out FluidUI.com if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to mockup for iOS, Android or Windows 8. Fluid has custom libraries for all of the major platforms and a really unique user interface.

    Eileen (From Fluid UI)

    1. Ayaz Malik April 8, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Hi Eileen,
      they look good. thanks for sharing

  3. Ikram Ahmed April 7, 2015 at 9:39 pm

    Great Stuff

  4. Bart Merkus May 6, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Hey Ayaz,

    Very informative read. One question, in the article you mention using colors in your wireframe. IsnĀ“t the whole point of creating a wireframe that you can lay-out your content and show it to a client without getting distracted by design features such as colors? Seems to me that bringing colors into the wireframe is a one step to early. What is the main reason for using colors this early?

    1. Ayaz Malik May 8, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      Hi Bart,

      I, and my article, completely agree with you. There is NO POINT introducing colors and fonts at the initial stage of wireframes… but in the second stage of “High Definition” wireframes, you can add them.
      The second stage comes only when the first initial wireframe (low fidelity or high fidelity) has been approved by the client.

      High definition wireframes are supposed to get the color scheme and font scheme approved. As you must have read in the article, these wireframes only come in when fidelity level wireframes have gotten the general layout approved.

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