Mobile App Wireframes: How To Build, Template & Examples

March 1, 2023
Mobile App Wireframes: How To Build, Template & Examples


Few brilliant ideas could sharpen into actual execution. There are numerous variables at play that impact the eventual output of a program. Hence, a well-built app wireframe serves as a buffer between theory and practices, lending a good overview of how the software should operate in reality. 

This article will cover step-by-step tutorials and notable templates of a typical wireframe mobile app.

An Overview of App Wireframe

What Is App Wireframe?

Examples of app wireframes

An application wireframe is a two-dimensional sketch. It functions as a visual guide to detail how programs will operate. The depiction of an overall design is beneficial but not compulsory. Just the most critical screens and interface components are sufficient. 

This strategy was initially associated with website design and Computer-Aided Designs (CAD). However, it has evolved into a crucial feature of mobile application development. 

Such models particularly thrive among web-based app owners and development teams. These creatives adopt them to negotiate the directions of a particular project. 

The frames do not have to cover specific design facets in the initial stage. Rather, they bear more resemblance to an architectural arrangement or schematic diagram.

What Does It Include?

Different approaches have been noted for varied circumstances. Some call for low-fidelity models, while others must employ high-fi wireframes. The intricacy and accuracy of these methods differ to a great extent.

However, regardless of the chosen model, a basic frame must cover these elements listed below:

  • Materials structure
  • Space allocation
  • Key user activities
  • App highlights
  • Additional screen transitions

In short, upon a glance at the frame, anybody should be able to yield its core functionality. Areas designated for these elements should also be transparent.

Furthermore, the frame should entail critical navigational segments (such as searching and filter icons). In tradition, these buttons are often located on the upper half of the page.

Most mobile wireframes are monochrome, requiring extensive shadows. One common tactic is to employ lighter hues for warm tones and darker hues for deeper tints.

On some occasions, some bright color is seen in high-fidelity wireframes. Blue and red are prevalent in warning indications and task recommendations.

Since wireframes are a two-dimensional design, they may struggle to convey specific UI (User interface) components. Pulldown menus and show-hide taps are some examples that might be a challenge to depict.

Why Is It Necessary?

It is a user-centric process

App development with no wireframes equates to the premature death of a project. Indeed, high-quality frames are the key to survival for three major reasons:

1. It Lends A Better Understanding of The App

As the concept is still in its infancy and has not yet been deployed, identifying future goals is critical. Such tactics will secure the subsequent triumph of the app when it is finally launched.

The frames offer insights into each phase of the design process, paving the way for a more thorough investigation. What sets this software apart from competitors? What should we do to accomplish the designated objectives?

2. It Maintains A User-Centric Development Process

Wireframes navigate the process to a user-centric essence. Without a graphic display, designers cannot determine the efficacy of users' engagement with the interface.

A well-crafted frame provides detailed context and motivation for consumer activities. App developers may keep these points in mind for more effective design adjustments, ensuring a flawless experience for their clients.

3. It Saves Energy and Costs

High-level UI/UX design components are often costly and intricate. On the contrary, wireframes demand much lower charges. They are also a breeze to develop.

Some developers prefer pens and paper, while others opt for digital programs. Regardless of their design tools, the market presents numerous assistance equipment. These gadgets could help generate a good frame in hours (or even minutes). 

Should there be any required improvements, it is possible to incorporate them into the finished product with little or no expense.

How to Create An Interactive Wireframe: Step by Step

Step 1. Outline The Backbone of A Target User Flow

Sketch the user flow

A rough sketch helps generate design ideas quickly. Use them to discuss concepts with others, yield more input from them, and iterate on the content layout.

Remember to consider the user's perspective during the process. Which objectives should be prioritized?

Take a food delivery service as an example. Its customers would love to get delicious meals as quickly as feasible. Focus on that goal to expand further ideas.

Step 2. Perform Collaborative Wireframing

The previous outline serves as a basis for the wireframe. Our suggested tactic is to aim for a medium-fidelity level of visual details. Its straightforward structures are beneficial for intimate discussions with other developers and designers.

A common approach is to frame the interaction design with basic rectangles. However, experts concur that it is better to use a frame with matching proportions to the actual devices. 

First, these boxes function as natural borders. They prevent designers from cramming too much content into the screen. Als, the frames lend an overall appearance similar to the real design, supplementing your imagination.

Step 3. Submit A Genuine Copy

Now that the visual hierarchy has been set, the next step is to replace fake text with real content. After all, the generic Lorem Ipsum templates cannot illustrate how the app would assist its potential users. 

Also, these genuine data might offer some sources of inspiration for the app development process. Designers might discover several unnecessary gadgets once they add actual data into the picture.

Step 4. Assess The Overall Efficacy of Design Decisions

Assess the design decisions

The last (and most crucial) stage is user testing. It aims to determine whether the displays communicate well in actual practice.

Since this process involves user contact, it often goes in conjunction with mockups. However, some low-level assessments might operate on a wireframe-based flow as well. Several online tools facilitate unlimited prototypes via wireframe connections.

Mobile App Wireframe Examples

Example 1

Here is a good example of how a realistic wireframe should work. First of all, it provides an authentic outlook on how the web layout would fare for a typical user. Secondly, this model conforms to all the design constraints: no colored images, no logos, and no bespoke UI components. 

To adjust relevant content, designers may bold or resize the displayed words.

Example 2

The second picture is also a high-quality illustration. While it entails all features mentioned in Example 1, several step-ups are identified. 

For instance, the navigation sectors are now much more transparent, including progress bars and a back button. Just one look at this wireframe could help users visualize what functions the app is expected to present.

Furthermore, ratios between different areas on the main page are also visible. It lends a more authentic overview than the basic wireframe introduced above.

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