UX Wireframe/UI Wireframe - A Comprehensive Guide
The UX wireframe/UI wireframe terms are unfamiliar to most people, but they are used every day in the digital world.
Basically, a wireframe is a backbone, the structural layout used to develop the site. The point of creating UX and UI wireframes is to make sure a website is effective, efficient, and user-friendly.
UX/UI Wireframe - A Comprehensive Guide
To understand UX wireframe/UI wireframe, you first need to understand what a wireframe is, what it does, and its role in the web design process.
What Is A Wireframe?
A wireframe is a simplified outline of a website service that takes user needs and user journeys into account. A wireframe is usually created in the early phase of a web development process.
A digital wireframe illustrates the content structure and functionality of the website. Blocks, lines representing text, and X squares representing future images are common forms of a wireframe.
Due to its purpose, a wireframe is created before web designers add actual content and visuals to the website. It's also considered the cornerstone of a website, a solid foundation for the next phases of a project.
Types of wireframe
There are three types of wireframes used in the design process: low-fidelity, mid-fidelity, and high-fidelity.
A low-fidelity wireframe is a webpage's most basic layout. It tends to be sketchy and doesn't take grid, scale, or pixel accuracy into account.
A low-fidelity focuses on the most fundamental structure of the web page, ruling out distracting details and including only symbols of images, labels, headings, and mock content.
Web designers use these rough sketches to discuss and make decisions on the user flow as well as navigation layout.
This type of wireframe comes in handy when there are multiple parties involved in the development process, such as the client, product managers, development team, and design team.
Entering the scene as the most common type in the wireframing stage, the mid-fidelity wireframe offers more details about a webpage than the low-fidelity type. In a mid-fidelity wireframe, components are given their features and specifications to set them apart.
It shows different text weights for different levels; headings are larger than body content, for example. White and several shades of black are also handy to illustrate varying importance levels of elements.
When it comes to showcasing the most realistic layout for a webpage, a high-fidelity wireframe has its moment. It may have specific images and real content that users will see when browsing the site.
Another difference between a high-fidelity wireframe and the other two types is the pixel accuracy. The high-fidelity type provides a pixel-specific layout to have an idea of what the web looks like when it's complete.
UX and UI Design
Now that you know about wireframes, it's time to find out the meaning of UX, UI, and their differences.
Believe it or not, there are many mistakes between UX design and UI design because they both have the "user" element and are about what users do on the site. However, UX and UI designs cannot be more different.
UX means user experience. This term refers to the experience and the feelings of the user when they use a service, or a website in this case. The user experience is important because it greatly determines if one user will come back to your site or not.
A UX design involves everything that shapes and affects the user experience. For instance, a UX designer needs to observe and conduct tasks to determine how fast and how easily a person completes a task in the user flow.
The aim of UX designing is to generate the easiest, most efficient, solid user experience.
On the other hand, UI is short for user interface, the visual design a user sees when using a site. The user interface is also a factor that defines user experience.
Interface elements are the first things a user interacts with when visiting a website. It can either fascinate users and keep them on the site for longer or turn them away immediately.
A UI design has to consider all visual elements involved in the interface like icons, buttons, typography, spacing, colors, and the site's overall structure.
The most fundamental feature that sets UX and UI designs apart is their purpose. The UX design is about the entire experience of the user, while the aim of UI design is concentrated on the look and function that users interact with.
When working on the UX design, the designer has to keep the whole user's journey in mind, including the steps they take, the tasks they need to complete on the site, and the ease or difficulties of this journey.
The UX designer has to identify the problems users face and solutions to these issues. They have to research to find out the target users as well as what they need that your site can offer.
The quality of the UX design determines how accessible and inclusive the website is to its user base.
Once the UX designer has mapped out the backbone, the UI designer is the one to bring it to life.
Instead of focusing on solving users' problems, UI design aims to make the solution look good and pleasant to users by coordinating the creative process.
From the core difference in their purposes, there are two other differences.
First, UX design is done before UI design in the development process. Secondly, UX design is applicable for any type of product, while the other is specifically used in digital products and services like websites and mobile applications.
How Does UX Design Work With UI Design
Both UX design and UI design are important; they have to go hand in hand to create an overall good product or service. A product fails when it only does well at one of these two aspects.
It cannot just solve the problem but is too difficult to use or look stunning but fail to solve users' problems.
For instance, you create an online design website for beginner graphics designers. Your website charges users nothing and offers many features that other platforms do not. However, its features and buttons are hard to navigate; the entire web layout is confusing.
Users will be drawn to your website by the free-of-charge benefit but may not become loyal users if they find it hard to master the tool.
Remember that UX is about efficient solutions, and UI is about responsive design. There must be a balance between UX and UI design.
In short, UX wireframe/UI wireframe are tightly related to each other. A UX wireframe is the structure of a website, while a UI wireframe enhances its interface to make the site more user-friendly and more appealing.
Neither of these two wireframes is more important than the other. The UX wireframe is created first to sketch out the order of a user journey, followed by the UI wireframe based on this layout.