The blueprint of your application, website, or platform
Wireframes, the bridge between research, experience, design, and information architecture
Start with structure
Focus on planning architecture and functionality
At Asymm, wireframing is a crucial part of our product design process as it lets establish the flow and the structure of our design solutions. Wireframing helps to ideate focused products that reflect user and business needs. Here we explain the differences between the types of wireframes and their respective purpose and function.
What are wireframes?
Wireframes are the first step in our product design workflow
Ideas that develop
Transforming a concept into a tangible product
A wireframe is a simple representation and the initial concept of a product that provides a blueprint of the page structure, functionality, information architecture and layout. Since wireframes are focused on the structure rather than the visualization of details, designers try to keep the graphics and styling simple, where the page elements are restrained to only boxes and lines that are a representation of the page’s elements and functionality. Depending on the detail that is required wireframes can be drawn by hand or digitally.
Wireframes in the UX process
Fundamental in the UX Design process
A necessary step to create an outstanding product
Both low fidelity and high fidelity wireframes are meaningful and fundamental phases of the design process. Wireframes are a way for product managers, product stakeholders, designers, and developers to agree on the general user experience of an application or software product. Wireframes help outline functionality and can be used as a tool to define user flows, logical processes, and other key drivers of a successful software product. Wireframes serve as a self-documenting tool for a blueprint of an application, and aid in the formation of a product roadmap for both developers and project managers.
Wireframes, the skeleton of thoughtful design
Powerful tools that drive understanding about content, information architecture and interaction
Start from scratch
A streamlined workflow
Every design team has its own preferred workflow and version of the design process. At Asymm we use both low fidelity and high fidelity wireframes in design production for our projects and clients. While they each have their advantage and their specific function, they are best used in tandem for a complete design process of a project.
Low fidelity wireframes
The initial visual representation of application design
The design’s starting point
Low fidelity wireframes
Low fidelity wireframes are the most basic version of a wireframe. They tend to be static and include the basic content and visual elements of a product. Low fidelity wireframes serve as a guide at the beginning of the design process between the stakeholders and the product team to help communicate and refine early concepts of functionality to get a clear understanding of the product’s features.
Efficient wireframing tools
How low fidelity wireframes are created?
Low fidelity wireframes can be developed by hand or with digital tools like Figma or Sketch, depending on the details needed by the client and the level of description that is required to effectively communicate the core competencies of a software application.
The value of wireframes
Why we create low fidelity wireframes?
At Asymm we create low fidelity wireframes to explore concepts and receive feedback from stakeholders and developers before creating more detailed designs. Here are the main reasons we create low fidelity wireframes for projects:
Clarify features and functionality
At the beginning of the design process, low-fidelity wireframes are considered as drafts. They are a great tool to start achieving solutions quickly and outline to all stakeholders involved what the end product’s functionality and features will contain.
Efficient user and process mapping
Low-fidelity wireframes are highly effective when there are a lot of screens, features, and other elements that need to be laid out. Low fidelity wireframes are a tool that helps start creating most pages, then more detail can be added to the wireframes on pages that need more clarity.
Beautiful and detailed
High fidelity wireframes
Capture requirements in a fast, clear, and simple way
Demonstrate the look and feel of a finished product
High fidelity wireframes look a lot like the final design of a project, they take longer to create than low fidelity wireframes due to the level of detail and creativity required for their completion. High fidelity wireframes can include calls to action buttons (CTA’s), icons, colors, images, typography, and other creative design elements to enrich the user experience.
The evolution of high fidelity wireframes
Usually high fidelity wireframes are created once low fidelity wireframes have been approved by all stakeholders. High fidelity wireframes are created with digital tools to achieve the level of detail required.
Get more accurate and effective product feedback
Benefits of high fidelity wireframes
Unlike low fidelity wireframes, high fidelity wireframes are primarily used to achieve finalized design objectives in the later stages of the design process for a software product.
Brilliant products start here
At the end of the design process, high fidelity wireframes should be created to detail out exactly what the product will look like in a production environment. High fidelity wireframes are based on low fidelity wireframes and are created as assets for developers to closely follow, they typically include colors, images, branding elements, iconography, and follow a general branding and aesthetic guide.
Bring designs to life
High fidelity wireframes are created to show a realistic experience to stakeholders involved including test and beta users. High fidelity wireframes allow users to interact with a product that is very realistic compared to what a product will look and behave like in a production environment.
Test and validate your product
When user interactions need to be tested, high fidelity wireframes help to test specific UI components and interactions within a screen or multiple screens. During usability tests, high fidelity wireframes are used to accurately test and assess the reaction of users. High fidelity wireframes are often converted into usable prototypes that reflect the real product.
Partner with us
At Asymm, we create a seamless experience with the end user and business goals in mind.
Going from low fidelity to high fidelity
Between high fidelity wireframes and low fidelity wireframes, there are several key differences that distinguish when and how they should be used
Differences between low and high fidelity wireframes
Low fidelity wireframes outline the bones of a page or screen and do not contain a high level of detail and are usually made up of simple boxes and outlines to demonstrate pure functionality. On the other hand, high fidelity wireframes are detailed and show colors, graphics, fonts, CTA, layouts, etc. They are only created on digital tools unlike low fidelity wireframes that can also be created manually. Here’s a brief table outlining the differences between low fidelity and high fidelity wireframes:
|Focuses on functionality, not aesthetics||Best fit for user testing|
|Captures initial product and design ideas||Easy to iterate|
|Python using Flask||Offers the look and feel of the final product|
|Inadequate for unmoderated testing||Requires content and graphic elements|
|Lacks interactivity||Long creation and iteration time|
|Low visual impact||Design preferences create subjectivity|
Takeaways evaluating the differences between low fidelity vs high fidelity wireframes
Enhance the user experience
Both low fidelity and high fidelity wireframes contribute to creating the user experience. Low fidelity wireframes are great for starting a project, and aligning stakeholders on functionality. They help visualize requirements and get everyone on the same page. The main disadvantage of low fidelity wireframes is that it may be a challenge to communicate an idea with such little detail and no beauty factor. To make a product stakeholder excited about a project, high fidelity wireframes are usually needed.
Confidence in moving forward
High fidelity wireframes are more suitable to convey more information and detail as they allow stakeholders to see what the product will look like. Unfortunately, their main disadvantage is that they take more time to create than low fidelity wireframes, and are hard to iterate. However, revisions are a part of high fidelity wireframes, and here at Asymm we spend considerable amounts of time during the design process refining our high fidelity wireframes to please all stakeholders. High fidelity wireframes ensure that design decisions, made with target users in mind, are communicated to the development team.