Tasked with writing a blog article, I wanted to focus on sharing advice rather than trying to solve a problem. I wanted to give my personal insight on the wireframing process.
The wireframe is not only the jumping off point, but also the checking back point for the framework of a project. It allows the designers and programmers to complete their jobs to the best of their ability. It gives everyone the roadmap for the website and allows the client to see the entire path of the project.
With all the positive aspects of the wireframing process, I feel that the most important and least stressed aspect is client involvement. I am sure everyone with a design business has run into the scenario of rushing through the beginning stages of a project only to have it halted after the client wants to make major changes to the design. Without first clearly establishing and communicating the structure of the project, your project has the potential to fall to the wayside. The result is a longer timeframe and bloated budget. By involving the client in these crucial beginning stages, you eliminate many questions or changes that may arise down the road.
The other major benefit of involving the client in the wireframe process is giving the client the opportunity to feel included in the site development. Since the client is driving the direction and involved in the real decision-making, they are ultimately more invested in the process. Involving the client in the wireframing process allows them to literally move site elements around before the design process takes place. Once the design starts, its possible for the client to become easily distracted by the visuals- they may feel their vision of how the site is supposed to look has been changed drastically by the designer. The littlest of things can sway the client to not like the design because it becomes confusing to them. Design is an emotional vessel that holds a website- but the wireframe is the rudder that drives it.
Get the client involved early and often to eliminate any surprises or disappointment throughout the website process.