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A Beginner's Guide to Website Wireframes

Alekh Verma | February 8, 2023
website wireframes

When we talk about building or redesigning a website, the primary goal is the design or conversion. However, there’s one more thing you mustn't miss out on; user experience (UX) which works as a bridge and ensures your design converts.

Employing a wireframe while designing or rebuilding a website allows you to focus on creating a confluence between user experience and conversion. With a wireframe, you can test the page layout and user flow to see exactly how the new website will work and to identify any potential errors that could have eventually prevented conversions.

What is a Website Wireframe?

For years the designing of a website has mostly consisted of focusing on the visual design such as what kind of content would go on the website or what color scheme to choose for the interface. However, with wireframes, we move forward from just focusing on such trivial things- we do care about the visual design elements, but we must consider more than that when it comes to designing a website.

With wireframe, we also focus on mapping out the main features and navigation of a website. We test how a user would look at a website and what features would create a seamless experience for them.

How does it work?

How it works is that your team of designers can conduct some practical tests to check where everything should go as they keep designing the website. When you map out the layout and features of the website such as buttons or menus, make sure they’re placed in a way that would elevate the entire user experience. The main aim of creating a wireframe is to create harmony between the design and user experience, so make sure you don’t compromise on it.

While you go about creating the wireframe, your designers or the client might find it unnecessary and may try to deter you from it. A lot of people believe that creating a website wireframe is time-consuming and redundant. Wireframing, however, is about self-preparation, and proper preparations take time. If you decide to save time now and not create a wireframe, then you might be surprised how many errors might need to be rectified once the website goes live. Additionally, working without a strategy typically takes longer and increases the likelihood that a project would fail.

We advise that you start with the wireframe as early as possible in the website-building process. Having a wireframe would give you an idea of how your website is going to look once finished, how users are going to see it, and what features or navigation to add for a seamless user experience. Starting early would show you any errors in judgment or design and give you time to fix them. With wireframes, you can efficiently collaborate with your team and communicate your ideas to the clients.

The level of information varies amongst different wireframes. Starting with a low-fidelity wireframe is a good idea. Low-fidelity wireframes demonstrate how elements are generally localized on the screen. These preliminary designs can be developed into higher-fidelity wireframes that include additional information, such as the final elements' appearance.

The requirements of your project at the time will determine whether you utilize a low-fidelity or high-fidelity wireframe.

Why Create a Website Wireframe?

A website wireframe can be made for a number of reasons, but the most significant is that it enables you to find and seize every opportunity to enhance the functionality, usability, and convenience of your site to satisfy your consumers. It can also facilitate improved communication among members of your design team and enable early client input gathering.

A website wireframe can show any areas of its design or functionality that should be modified to better help users achieve their goals by giving a glimpse into how visitors will interact with your site. Making a purchase, subscribing to a newsletter, or reading a blog article are a few examples of these objectives. Finding any sources of friction now, before choosing colors, fonts, and imagery is vastly preferable to doing it later in the design process.

How to Create a Basic Wireframe?

1.  Identify the goal of your website.

Before you start building the wireframe for your website, take a moment to think about what goal you’re planning to achieve with it. Even though it’s quite evident that the main purpose of any website would be to attract traffic and convert those people into customers; you must delve deeper than that and think about what purpose your website plays in that and how it can help with converting the traffic into sales.

You need to give a thought to what you want all of those visitors to accomplish when they are on your site. Should they purchase to conclude their trip? Do they need to download an app? Maybe you want them to look at a specific page before leaving the website altogether. Whatever your objective, make sure your team is focused on it to ensure that all future phases run smoothly until you launch your website.

2.  Understand the user flow.

One of the many benefits of designing a website using a wireframe is that it tells you everything about how your user is going to navigate a website. While building a wireframe you need to be cognizant of how a user would perceive your website and how they’ll interact with each page on your website. So, now while building a wireframe you can identify and evaluate the user flow to ensure a good user experience.

In this stage, your team will have to identify every possible access point a visitor could use to reach your homepage. Now, you need to outline your wireframe according to the user flow and select a few entry points to establish a travel flow. Doing so would give you an idea of every navigation route a user could take and you can work backward to build a seamless path for them.

Now we suggest that before you sit down to create a wireframe, first write down all the user flow points on a piece of paper. You must wonder why. It’s quite simple. It’s considerably easier to make any changes to the user flow and shift steps around if they’re written down, as opposed to being drawn out as a wireframe.

3.  Establish your wireframe size.

Your website’s wireframe size will differ basis on the kind of screen you're designing it for. People often use different kinds of devices to access a website, so you need to be cognizant of that and design your website accordingly. The size of screens on mobile devices, tablets, and desktop computers will vary, not to mention that a desktop computer's window can be resized. Use pixels rather than inches or points to acquire the most precise specifications for your wireframe. The typical sizes for each type of screen are as follows:

  • Website wireframe size for mobile screens

Mobile Screen- 1080px wide X 1920px long

  • Website wireframe size for different tablet screens

8” Tablet Screen- 800px wide X 1280px long

10” Tablet Screen- 1200px wide X 19200px long

  • Website wireframe size for desktop screens

Desktop Screen- 768px wide X 1366px long

4.  Start designing your website's wireframes.

Now that you’re done with understanding the user flow and determining a wireframe size, it’s time to finally build the wireframe to represent your user flow. We advise using dotted paper or grid paper to maintain alignment if you're writing on paper with a pen. This will make it simpler for you to convert your wireframe's physical version into a digital one.

When you are finally starting on a digital platform, pick a tool that meets your requirements for wireframe fidelity. Check out this thorough wireframe fidelity guide if you're unsure whether to use low, medium, or high fidelity. The way you transfer your wireframe from grid paper to a digital platform is crucial so make sure you’re doing it carefully.

5.  Calculate the conversion points.

After you've sketched out your wireframes, you need to define precisely how the user should proceed through each stage. The user may not find the processes easy to follow just because you've laid out the steps for them. You'll decide at this point which buttons, hyperlinks, photos, or other items on the website will direct the reader to the following step until they arrive at the destination.

Now, this entirely depends on where you want to lead your user. As already discussed above, this depends on what goal you have established for your website. So, set up the user flow according to that goal. Whether you want the user to subscribe, lead them to your blog, redirect them to a download link, or simply, take them back to your homepage. You need to set up the steps clearly to create a seamless user experience.

6.  Do away with unnecessary steps.

Now, website wireframing is an iterative process which means there is a great chance of you making a mistake or missing out on a few points in the beginning. Nothing is alarming about it.

Wireframes that are ready for production can rarely be created in a single round of sketching, so you need to be worried that you’ve made a few human mistakes. It’s quite possible that once you’re done sketching out the wireframe, you may notice that some web pages are unnecessary and can be consolidated to require the user to click on fewer links or there are a few inconsistencies within the user flow.

This is where the final phase of the wireframe comes in, where you may simplify your wireframe to rectify your errors, sketch it out and get the final feedback.

7.  Obtain feedback regarding the wireframe.

You must be aware of how you need to test your website multiple times and get adequate feedback before it goes live. Doing so allows you to fix all the bugs, remove all inconsistencies, and overall have a more successful launch. The same applies to the wireframe process. Before you finalize a wireframe, you need to make sure you’ve fixed all possible mistakes based on the feedback you receive.

We suggest you get input on the flow itself by working together with your design and development teams, any internal personnel, and customers. Receiving feedback now keeps the core of the UX from becoming obscured after buttons, screens, and page layouts are included.

Some Examples of Wireframes

We’ve created a list of some of the best wireframe examples to have your creative juices flowing and give you inspiration on how you can go about designing your website’s wireframe-

  • Sketch

A lot of developers often give in to their creative side while building a wireframe and choose to sketch the whole framework. They use a whiteboard or pencil & paper to sketch the wireframe to get an idea of how it may look even before adding the whole graphical element.

  • Detailed hand-drawn wireframe

Now, nobody said that if you’re choosing to sketch your wireframe using a pencil & paper then it needs to be simple and subtle. You can always use a ruler along with a pencil & paper to draw more detailed designs. However, you might just go with the digital wireframe as creating a detailed design on paper might be difficult and it can be tricky to transfer it to a digital platform later on.

  • Low-fidelity wireframe

Your first concept design will be improved using low-fidelity wireframes, which are made digitally and display things in straightforward content blocks. When deciding which graphical elements to develop and what copy to write, low-fidelity wireframes are crucial.

  • Low-fidelity mobile wireframe

Remember that wireframes are also created for your mobile apps and responsive websites. Now, people often use their mobile phones to access a website which makes it necessary that a developer must think of everything while designing a website wireframe. Now, more and more developers are moving towards designing the mobile version of a wireframe first.

  • Low-fidelity interactive wireframe

Your websites are dynamic, so if your wireframe isn’t then there will be an automatic gap in understanding. So, before you decide to commit to your images, look for a variety of interactive wireframe tools that can assist you to illustrate your user experience flow.

  • High-fidelity wireframe

You can produce a high-fidelity wireframe with digital tools that illustrate in greater detail without producing an excessive number of graphical elements. As a result, there is a more appealing appearance without the need for time-consuming design work that might be ignored throughout the review process.

  • Interactive wireframe mockup

Additionally, without building the actual site, you may use wireframe tools to create an interactive mockup with a UI Kit and visual components. If you have a design team that is handing off the execution of the site to developers, this step can be useful because they can assess both the intended appearance and functionality of the site, leading to a more streamlined workflow with fewer adjustments required.

  • Mobile website wireframe

A crucial step for a successful website overall is creating a wireframe for the mobile version of your website. Prioritizing mobile site design will improve your UX, SEO, and conversion rates.

Building a mobile wireframe may be done using a few different methods. All of your desktop functionality might be compressed to fit on a mobile device. Or you might completely remove some functionality to create a mobile-friendly experience.

Wireframe vs Mockup vs Prototype

Similar elements of the website development process that entail design processes occurring quickly after one another are wireframes, mockups, and prototypes. Depending on the requirements of the designer, they may occasionally overlap.

  • The first step in explaining your website concepts to others is to create a wireframe. It offers a fundamental framework from which other people can perceive and comprehend.
  • A mockup takes things a step further by displaying the anticipated look of the product.
  • After a wireframe and mockup have been approved for design, a prototype can be made. The user experience of the website and its fundamental operations are covered in greater detail by prototypes, which also show what an element appears when you hover your cursor over it.

This explains why some people find it challenging to grasp how these three ideas differ from one another.

What distinguishes a prototype from a wireframe from a mockup? The easiest approach to explain the differences between a wireframe, mockup, and prototype is to provide an example, where a wireframe depicts an empty rectangular box, a mockup depicts the resultant blue button, and a prototype depicts what the button would look like when it is clicked.


A proper plan for carrying out the design is the first step in creating a working website. You may quickly lay out the components of each page with a wireframe and make adjustments as you see fit. By spending the effort to build wireframes, you will considerably lower the number of errors when your project is almost finished.

Take your time adding details after creating a low-fidelity wireframe in the beginning. Use the same attention when purchasing a tool to ensure that it meets your unique design requirements.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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