Why wire-frames and designs are out of date

In the good old days of website building a process developed which continues to this day.  First of all someone would develop wire-frame diagrams of your website.  The argument for them was that it would simply show you what elements you wanted on your website and where they were placed.  Many people confused wire frames with designs, which they were not, but the perception persists to this very day.  The second thing that was needed was a set of designs usually designed in an Adobe product and then transferred to Powerpoint.

The reason this process arose was because it took a lot of effort to build a website in html and it was foolish to build it without the wire-frames and designs.

My contention is that with the advent of WordPress, Themes, Page Builders and Plugins, this model is now completely defunct.  It makes no sense any longer to build wire-frames (wait) and then build some designs (wait) then move to development and wait some more.

I would contend that the customer experience is much improved if you drop both wire-frames and designs and build the website collaboratively with the customers.

You can mock up a design in WordPress in less time than it takes to build wire-frames.  The customer gets a better experience because there is no waiting around for the documents, approval and then the customer has to hang around a bit longer while the website gets built.

Now this may sound a bit chaotic, after all isn’t it better to have a design so that everyone knows what’s going to be built?  Well, sadly, reality and experience tell me that this simply is not the case.  Customers can’t visualise a website from a wire-frame and cannot work out how the website will operate once it’s up and running.  The truth is that we still build wire frames because some of us still write websites in html and that simply is not the way to do it.

There is so much that can be done with WordPress, a good theme, a page builder and a bunch of plugins in a very short period of time and exactly to the customer’s requirements that it’s now ridiculous to put them through the expense and time of all that wireframe/design palaver.

Web designers need to start using the technology and involve the customer right from the start.

All I can tell you is that our customers prefer the straight to web model.


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