How To Create A Low Fidelity Wireframe? 5 Best Tools To Use 2022
A low-fidelity or a lo-fi wireframe is one of the first things created in the web development process. It is the most basic level of a web layout and allows for easy adjustments and enhancements before the next step.
Whether you are working alone or in an entire team, creating a wireframe of this type is a must as it turns your ideas into something more tangible that you can work on.
This article will tell you more about lo-fi wireframes, how to create them, and the best wireframing tools in 2022.
Low-Fidelity Wireframes: A Comprehensive Guide
What Is A Low-Fidelity Wireframe?
A lo-fi wireframe is the most basic visual presentation of the design idea for a website. It contains symbols of visual elements that map out the site's interface structure.
This type of wireframe is involved in the UX design process. It is the medium to help the project team and stakeholders visualize, experiment, and modify concepts early in the development process.
If the designer draws a wireframe by hand, it will look like a sketch with basic shapes, blocks, and lines that represent text on a piece of paper. Otherwise, there are tools for this task that enable online sharing with relevant people.
When To Use A Low-Fidelity Wireframe?
In short, a low-fidelity wireframe is the most simplified outline of a website, so when is it needed exactly?
- Lo-fi wireframes are used when a designer wants to create design iterations for a real product. Highly flexible and simple, low-fidelity wireframes are perfect for this task as they can be drawn as quickly as discarded.
- These wireframes come in handy when multiple project stakeholders join a project, such as product managers, the product team, and the development team. First, a basic sketch will help all the involved parties discuss and make necessary changes without wasting resources.
- Lastly, similar to the case above, if a designer needs to get feedback on their idea for the web layout, a low-fidelity will be a good checkpoint. They can identify flaws and space for improvement to do a better job in advanced stages.
Advantages Of Low-Fidelity Wireframe
Thanks to its simplicity, creating a lo-fi wireframe is super fast compared with mid-fi or high-fidelity wireframes.
Because it is simple, you can make one within a short time to send out for feedback. Also, those viewing the wireframe can quickly determine issues or approve of your idea.
In turn, you get a fast response, and you can make quick adjustments. All in all, it helps speed up the entire process rather than taking extra time.
Another benefit of simplicity is accessibility. Since lo-fi wireframes are extremely basic, people with no designing skills can understand the information conveyed.
As the most basic wireframe level, a low-fidelity wireframe focuses on functionality rather than the interface. It simply maps out different elements of a web page and what they do, making it easy to examine and test the efficacy and efficiency of the product.
Creating a low-fidelity wireframe does not require advanced professional skills like high-fidelity wireframes, so the cost of making this type is lower than that of high-fidelity wireframes.
Disadvantages Of Low-Fidelity Wireframe
Examining a low-fidelity wireframe asks for creative imagination from viewers. Unfortunately, some people can not envision a finished product just by looking at several blocks and lines.
This is why though a lo-fi wireframe does not require advanced skills, it is only suitable for internal discussion.
Hand-Drawn Wireframes Not Convenient
Sketching a wireframe on paper is super quick. However, a small piece of paper makes it harder for others to see when it comes to presentation. It is also not as convenient for sharing online as digitally created wireframes.
How To Create A Low-Fidelity Wireframe On Your Own
1. Brainstorm Ideas
First of all, there must be one or more ideas based on which you can build the wireframe. Have your teammates brainstorm ideas for solutions to a problem you're aiming at by writing them down on sticky notes.
2. Sketch Rough Ideas
You can apply the Crazy Eights method in this step, where everyone sketches eight interactions in eight minutes. This method aims to take their minds off perfection to only focus on drafting the user interaction.
3. Create Wireflows
In this step, you have already got several sketches, it is time to add context without being distracted from the foundational structure. Keep in mind that you are building a lo-fi wireframe, not a high-fidelity one.
4. Discuss Solutions
Review all the sketches, and narrow them down to keep the best ideas. Then, you can continue to discuss the chosen ones with your teammates to enhance them.
Best Tools To Create Low-Fidelity Wireframes
Figma is online design software that offers three free projects for trial uses. Then, you will have to choose a suitable plan to pay for.
Thanks to its user-friendly nature, you can choose to use an available UI kit or upload your own.
It is a powerful tool for creating lo-fi wireframes because it handles all the design organization in one panel. The software also indicates each element's responses on different screen sizes, useful for UX optimization.
Teamwork is also welcomed on Figma to edit or comment on a wireframe.
Coming up is a candidate from Adobe, one of the most trusted and popular players on the market - Adobe XD. The tool is created to work with other Adobe tools such as Adobe Stock, Adobe Fonts, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Photoshop.
Adobe XD focuses on providing web designers an assistant for quick work, offering auto-animation, voice triggers, and more. Both Windows and macOS operating systems are accessible.
Good news for macOS users: Sketch is meant for them. It comes with an intuitive and simple interface. This software does not have an inbuilt library, so you choose between uploading your own UI kits or using third-party ones.
One of the best things about Sketch that sets it apart from competitors is the Symbol function. Specifically, it lets you create elements repeating automatically throughout the layout.
After a free trial, you can either pay the subscription cost or buy the whole program.
This is a simple, web-based wireframing tool created to help designers quickly create wireframes.
Balsamiq Wireframes is a great option for beginners because it has a drag-and-drop feature where designers only have to drag and drop elements. They can also edit pre-built widgets, meaning it takes much less time to learn to use the tool.
If you are looking for an even more user–friendly software, Justinmind should tick the box. It is a simpler tool to create wireframes. It is compatible with Windows and macOS and is easier to get used to. With Justinmind, you can create wireframes for testing as low-fidelity prototypes, thanks to its interactive elements.