I wanted to talk about my wireframing because I feel there is such a focus right now on clean and beautiful hi-resolution screens with no spotlight on the power of the idea stage used in solving, often, complex user pain points. It is the sketching and brainstorming that garners the solutions of powerful design ideas.
When I started to become interested in UX/UI design, I googled wireframing and found Balsamiq as one of the recommended wireframing tools. I used the free trial to play around but found that you have to create or find a lot of the elements used in wireframing. On reflection I consider this a bit of a time waster as Sketch and Figma can give the same results if you have created or sourced wireframing kits.
This quick wireframe solution was an idea on how to add a 'Buy Ticket' feature to a route planner app.
The low-fi sketch is the best way to see if the idea is working, before spending time on Sketch or Figma to build hi-resolution screens and definitely before prototyping or adding interactions.
I discovered InVision Freehand during the bootcamp and found it invaluable for rapidly sketching lo-fi wireframes remotely when collaborating with other designers. I love to draw and sketch, but you save a lot of time with Freehand as you can quickly duplicate screens and components without wasting too much time on the details.
You can see from my examples how the tool allows you to scribble and add text but keeps a consistent loose style for better legibility.
I'm a fan of the measured, detailed mid-fi. The closer to hi-fi the better. You can even prototype and test a good mid-fi. However you can argue that creating a mid-fi prototype is pointless as the user may not understand it, but I think mid-fi wireframing gives you as the designer the space and reflection to see how the structure and flow of the design is going to work, and lets you smooth out the kinks before you commit to adding the final coat of branding, colouring and interaction.
When I started making digital illustrations, I spent hours and hours AND HOURS on Adobe Photoshop experimenting with brushes, effects and textures - and it was only after a long time I realised the importance of having a good sketch FIRST.
Sure you can get lucky and experiment and suddenly and unexpectedly strike gold and I am not devaluing the importance of experimenting, BUT, when your job is to deliver consistently, you have to know what you can do and what you can create and what you can bring.
I feel that UX/UI design follows this logic too. Quick roughs get out the ideas and lo-fi wireframes structure the canvas. Mid-fis give you a skeleton before committing to the final brushstrokes.
Maybe the importance of wireframing goes without saying, but I am anyway.
Thanks for reading!
Illustrations & Designs by David Lymburn © 2021 - All rights reserved