Don't limit your options when wireframing

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When it comes to wireframing it’s time to branch out. Too many of us wireframe two or three versions of a page template before giving up. A better approach is to sketch out as many different versions as possible before narrowing the selection down.

But what do you do when you run out of ideas? How do you keep going?

Start by trying to wireframe the template for different audiences. What would your template look like if it only had to appeal to one user group? Now repeat the process for a second user group and so on. You will quickly build up a picture of each users unique requirements.

You might also try wireframing with an emphasis on different calls to action. You could wireframes for different use cases (e.g. “what if the homepage was primarily focused on its shop” or “what would the homepage look like if the emphasis was placed on the blog?”)

You will end up with a large number of wireframes for a particular template. These can be gradually refined until you have a clear vision for the page.

  • http://twitter.com/aarahkahak Sarah Kahn

    I am all about some rapid pencil and paper iteration! I don’t sweat the details until it’s pretty well fleshed out, and then when I need something nice to show a client I spend a little bit longer making it detailed.

  • http://twitter.com/itsmappleby Mark Appleby

    Great suggestions! Definitely going to try this approach on my next project. Perhaps I’ve been jumping into Balsamiq (or now Flairbuilder) too quickly.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting, our own wireframing process already resembles this, and I thought its just how everyone done it! There are a plethora of doodles, ideas & iterations based on audiences, messages etc before it gets turned into something the client sees in Balsamiq. 

    As a sidenote, wireframing & IA etc has grown to become the primary thing I do, design has become almost third or fourth place. 

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