Designing for small screens is a challenge in itself, because one has to convey all the functionalities in small space without making it look cluttered and confusing to the users. A good mobile app would be easy to use yet perform all desired operations. When we talk about design at low level in terms of layouts, priority of the content, navigation, limitation of space (as we are considering mobile apps design), wireframes are the answer to all of these questions.
Yes we know, designing software (like photoshop) tempt us to start the actual design which gives the desired beauty to our work. But, if our app is not strong functionally, then the time we spent to make the app beautiful was a total waste. So, to save our time, we must consider wireframes before anything else.You may like to look at some inspiring wireframes sketches.
Let’s explore 5 most important tips to create effective wireframes for a mobile app which can be easily converted to make a wonderful app.
The Core Idea of an App
To build the app, first you must visualize the idea. Note down the whole flow of the app from its first action to last. To understand the app flow better, you should know what the user must be doing with the app. You can follow UI/UX designers on Behance and Dribbble to see their amazing app work.
Sketch it All
Once the purpose of the app is clear, you can start putting the concept of application on paper. The paper and pencil are more reliable and are appreciated even among top web and mobile designers. Drawing from hand will let you generate great ideas. It will help you in visualizing the Visual Hierarchy (most important thing per screen) and Content Wireframe (where the content will go) of all the screens.
The main aim of sketching is to create a rough draft version of the app.You can use dot grids note book for easier drawing.
Give Every Idea A Chance
Do not limit yourself to one idea, let your ideas flow on the paper. Give each one a try even if it seems silly. As these are just wireframes, you can quickly try your ideas and rule out few of them at this early stage. This will save you time and energy in trying out ruled out design ideas in detail. That’s the beauty of wireframes (because it is CHEAP :)). Do not think that you are wasting your time trying all ideas, actually it will help you in brainstorming and come up with brilliant design.
Don’t Do it Alone
Keep sharing your ideas with the team. When we share the ideas, their potential for greatness doubles. We can make things better if we are doing it together.
Time To Make It Digital
The next step is to build a UX wireframe - a structure of the future app based on your own sketch design. A UX wireframe is a skeleton of the application. There are some tools that will make this step much easier and less time demanding. You can try UXpin.
You can actually experience the flow of the app. All the missing pieces of puzzle (I mean app) will be recognized here. You can even test it with your teammates, whether they are able to perform particular task or not. This will clear almost 90% of doubts about the app functionality.
The process of creating wireframes for an application is greatly useful. It gives the idea of how your creation will look and feel without the restriction of finer detail elements. Even today, a pencil can change your world around, as it can be a start to your great app. So pick up your pencil and get your ideas wired.
TIP : Don’t get too attached to your wireframes, you must welcome changes to get the best idea out of it.