How to Build an App Wireframe in 6 Steps

You cannot build a house without a blueprint, and it’s an essential step that outlines the overall mapping and layout of the software you are looking to build. The idea behind a mobile app wireframe is pretty much the same. Before writing code, you depict an outline that becomes the foundation of your entire designing and coding procedure. App wireframes enable coders to construct a simulation of user experience.

What Is An App Wireframe?

If you have been wondering what a wireframe for an app is, you don’t need to feel intimidated. It is a simple concept to understand. According to Wikipedia’s definition, an app wireframe is a technical drawing or page schematic used as a guide that lays out the bones of the entire structure.

A wireframe is what defines your app’s hierarchy of contextual data, arrangement of different pages, and UX flow. In earlier days, wireframes were created by hand, but nowadays, useful software programs are accessible to construct complete wireframes. A wireframe is a monochromatic representative schematic and the pathways that link multiple pages from a visual perspective.

 It allows you to specify the position of different constituents, including labels, arrows, and lists. App wireframes, above all, are quick, inexpensive, and iterable. We say temporary because it is a draft that changes as you gather information and feedback from the team, potential users, and other people that are working for the venture.

A wireframe isn’t all about aesthetics; it brings UI and UX architects, coders, and users together. To summarize, wireframing for mobile apps involves outlining the content of your new app and laying the groundwork for subsequent steps.

What Does A Wireframe Of App Contain?

Before you begin drawing a wireframe, there are a few things you need to take care of. Identifying the goals of an app, evaluating the value of each page’s components, and planning user interactions with the app are just a few of your key objectives. Here are a few pointers that tell you what should be included in your app layout design:

  • Prioritization of content
  • Distribution of space
  • Actions that you want your users to take
  • All the features that may be used
  • Interstitial screen shifts

Sketching a wireframe for an app is akin to drawing a flowchart of the first stages in building a mobile app. Content structure, screen components, available actions, and visual brand aspects are well laid out. Colors, design elements, typefaces, real photos, and logos are not included in this step.

Sketch Vs. Wireframe Vs. Mockup Vs. Prototype

Many terms are used in app development that appears quite similar to “wireframe”. To understand this with an example, prototype and wireframe are a few terms that are used interchangeably. Remember that the terms reflect a number of different points and are used for unique purposes.

Sketch

As the name suggests, it is just a rough layout or draft of an idea. This refers to the first stage, where you attempt to visualize your app idea. These are used for brainstorming, pitching ideas, and gathering opinions and reviews related to different concepts and plans.

Wireframe

A wireframe contains the basic configuration of the application and outlines its most basic features, components, and design elements. Wireframes are flexible and agile, so they can be altered and modified according to the collected feedback.

Mockup

A mockup is an advanced rendition of an app’s design segments and features. It is used to test and analyze different aesthetic segments of your app while the wireframe strictly controls the functionality. Mockups are used to see as colors, wallpapers, gradients, and other visual illustrations appear.

Prototype

Prototyping is usually the final stage before coding begins. A prototype is a more sophisticated form of your app’s aesthetics, features, and other functionalities. It is basically a bare-bones working version of your app. A user can interact with prototypes since they have a clickable component. Overall, a prototype is a not-yet-live simulation of your application, and it allows you to try out how different features work. When you make an app prototype, you want it to be as near to the genuine thing as possible.

App Wireframing: Who Is It For?

A wireframe acts as an open piece of documentation that can be seen by all parties involved. Any time a person involved in the designing process wants to know something about the project, they can view the application wireframe. It makes the job easier for the following people involved in building the app.

App coders

Prior to linking a multitude of screens together, coders can use a wireframe to observe how a user negotiates and uses the app. Coders use wireframes to get a complete picture of the app’s features and a number of aesthetic segments.

Clients

When a wireframe is well defined and articulated, it illustrates your clients’ complete application flow. Interface flow and errors may be seen early on by the client, allowing for faster and more accurate resolution. The procedure becomes easier and more manageable when all the relevant factors are taken into account.

App designers

Wireframes don’t need to be pixel-perfect, but they should be clear and simple to follow. As a result, the design team can fully rely on it. Using it as a guide, UI creators are better positioned to create a better user experience.

Project managers

A two-dimensional outline of a mobile app wireframe is even used by project managers to bring everyone to the same table and to work together effectively. Every member of the coding team agrees with the wireframe’s structure. The managers might use a wireframe as a checklist to keep track of their work.

Does A Non-Coder Need App Wireframes?

Even if you are an individual coder who wants to write an app on your own or an aspiring app creator who desires to make money, a wireframe is a must-have. It will enable you to stay on track, and you can easily make changes as you go further in the process. You don’t necessarily have to familiarize yourself with all the tools as there are app wireframe examples to get assistance from.

Apart from that, many quick app builders like Andromo provide you with a range of mobile app wireframe templates you can rely on to make a detailed, adjustable, and flexible app layout design. Bear in mind that wireframing a mobile app isn’t just for veteran app coders and large mobile app development agencies. They can be made and used by anyone who is willing to learn how to wireframe an app.

Let’s discuss the importance of a mobile app wireframe in detail.

The Role And Purpose Of Creating App Wireframes

If you don’t make a wireframe while designing and coding an app, it might have serious ramifications for the project’s timeline. As you move ahead with the app creation process and make adjustments, you may have to make multiple iterations of wireframes. An app wireframe serves as a record of a project’s progress, allowing you to review previous choices and changes. Here’s why you need a wireframe.

1. Giving your App idea a visual outline

You can rely on wireframes to illustrate the application’s concept, all the people involved in the designing and coding process, and the customers. You may quickly exhibit navigational layout and patterns within your app and show the positioning of a number of UI segments. You can also show your customers precisely what you’re aiming for and how each app component will work.

2. Conceptualizing the final product

To acquire a clear image of your final product’s look and work, you’ll need to create wireframes. A simple replication and logical flow-through of the application’s transitions is possible with little effort. Any kinks that need to be straightened out may be rectified when it comes to this phase. Instead of wasting time and effort, it allows both designers and coders to find opportunities for improvement in the final software. Without app wireframing, you are more likely to get stuck in an experimental routine which can be immensely inefficient.

3. Easier to change & adjust as compared to high-fidelity mockups

Clickable prototypes and high-fidelity mockups may be distinguished from wireframes in many respects. As we have already talked about mockups and prototypes, you might have already figured out that it can be very time-consuming and effort-intensive to change them again and again. Updates and redesigns of wireframes, on the other hand, are straightforward. It is not necessary to spend a significant amount of time and financial resources building wireframes for mobile applications.

4. App wireframes are relatively affordable

Using app wireframes provides you with an affordable way to plan and engineer your application’s structure. You can use this as a way to connect with your customers. If your customers aren’t distracted, they concentrate only on the app’s visual sketch and functioning. Instead of launching a full-fledged prototype for testing your target audience, you can rely on a wireframe to find out if your users find the app intuitive and user-friendly. Any changes and adjustments can be made quite easily.

This isn’t the only way how wireframing saves time and financial resources. When you sketch a wireframe for apps, you are better positioned to identify different kinds of issues, including design lapses, inconsistencies in UI and UX segments, broken navigation, and other issues. At this stage, all you need to do is adjust the app’s wireframe. However, once you have started designing and coding an app, making the same changes can become quite challenging. This adds to the time and cost of app development and can result in a bad user experience.

5. Ideal way to position design elements and content

You may set the arrangement of the different parts in your design by using a wireframe as a guide. Space limitations may be immediately identified, and certain things can be moved to other pages in order to facilitate the flow of information in the hierarchy. When you create a wireframe, you can see how the content of your application will be prioritized in terms of presentation.

This allows you to build a coherent environment for your users by including guidance related to space allocation, CTAs, feature positioning, and screen navigation in your wireframe. This leads to a cohesive environment where design components and content are well-balanced.

How To Wireframe Mobile Apps With Andromo

If you are not a seasoned coder who wants to learn how to make a wireframe for an app, there are user-friendly resources to get help from. An instant app builder such as Andromo allows you to use an already existing app wireframe template which you can further adjust, iterate, and optimize to suit your needs and expectations.

There are many mobile app wireframe examples available as well that can assist you in developing a basic understanding of how to wireframe an app. Going through the following steps will simplify your app wireframing process.

Step 1 – Make a Sketch Of Your Target User Flow

In the absence of a user flow, you run the risk of cluttering your display with many features. Some of the features could be useless while some can end up being redundant. As a result, you must have a comprehensive understanding of the overall number of displays and the user’s path across them. It is like a set of steps that lead the user to their desired outcome. To get the most out of the marketing channel, you’ll need a solid plan in place. Organize data to make it easy for a user to complete a task.

It’s critical to maintain a smooth and easy experience for the user. Make sure the user doesn’t lose interest in the app because of the number of screens they have to go through. To put it simply, mapping out user flow is like drawing a flow diagram. Sketch boxes and triangles, fill them with functions and draw arrows to show the flow.

However, consider the user’s viewpoint while mapping out user flow. When switching between screens, think about what the user is supposed to get out of each one and how you will assist them in getting there. In the wireframe building process, the answers to these two questions indicate that you’ve made a good start.

Step 2 – Bring In The Essential Visual Elements

It may take some time to get to this point, but the ultimate effect is well worth the effort. Examine each screen in detail, identifying the most important aspects of each one. You must provide a general sense of the application but avoid specifics. The content of each block should be prioritized, and specific information should be accessible.

Analyze which important information should be shown on the screen as soon as the user arrives there. Are you going to deliver on their expectations and guide them to the next page? You may experiment with several screen layouts or play about with them, but you should sit down with your team and get their input before settling on a single screen.

Step 3 – Create A Basic Layout With Design Elements

The first step will be to use blocks and grids to organize your information into a logical structure. The way you present the information is as important as its substance. You may prioritize what’s most important and scale up as necessary using a mobile-first approach to layout. Regardless of the tool, you are using, the style and structure of any screen you create will be responsively preserved across all devices.

Next, consider the logical sequence in which you want your users to see the material on your app, starting at the top and working their way down to the bottom. Individual links, text boxes, buttons, and icons, as well as user flows, should be mapped out. Keeping your wireframe simple yet with enough visual structure to produce useful input is important.

Step 4 – Introduce App Copy

You will get rid of the placeholders and add real app copy at this stage. When you are in the process of introducing copy, ensure there is no dummy text left behind. Once the copy is added, you will see right away that there are a few necessary adjustments that you need to make. Some UI components will not feel right, or the copy won’t flow as well as you hoped.

This is exactly why app wireframing is a great way to build an app. Instead of making adjustments to the real design and codebase, all you need to do is change the visuals of the wireframe. Don’t forget that this will be the first iteration of your wireframe, and you may need to add further, eliminate, and adjust entire app sections in the future.

Step 5 – Connect Different App Screens to Build a Natural Flow

This phase of wireframing is exceptionally important. You need to understand that while individual app screens are significant in their own right, they are just a collection of disjointed pages. What you need to deliver is a cohesive and complete experience. That’s why the next step is to connect multiple app screens in a way that creates a natural and user-friendly flow.

At this point, it can be a great idea to take feedback from actual target users. They can help determine your users’ expectations when using the app. During connecting app pages, you may also identify navigational shortcomings that might not have been noticed before. It is suggested that you add reference numbers to make the entire process easier.

Step 6 – Time to Test Your App Wireframe

Now that you’ve worked hard to design an app wireframe that focuses on the needs of its users, it’s time to test what you have created. You must realize that wireframing is a process where your ideas and imagination are translated into visual form for better execution. This is why there is a high probability that you won’t get it perfect right away, and that’s perfectly fine.

 Identify the loopholes, flaws, and weaknesses and work to improve your wireframe further. The better wireframe you have, the better your app will be. You can use Andromo to test the wireframe as it provides you with a free trial period. All you need to do is sign up.

Dos and Don’ts of Mobile App Wireframe

What to DoWhat Not to Do
Keep your wireframe monochromatic and straightforward, so the attention is on the layout and not the design.Don’t attempt to beautify your wireframe with colors and other visual clutter.
Try to stick to one layout style so everyone can understand by simply looking at it.Don’t do it half-heartedly to tick the box. Make sure that you make it count.
Introduce real copy and content in your wireframe instead of using dummy text.Don’t add real functionality to your wireframe in the initial phase.
Add one detail at a time and ensure what you’re adding is crucial to the app’s functionality.Don’t try to cram in everything that comes to mind.
Rely on comments, feedback, and referencing to simplify the process.

Final Word

Wireframe design is all about keeping things simple. Define every pixel on the screen, sketch out the user’s journey, and display data in a manner that supports the overall objective. The process of creating an app wireframe is critical.

Wireframing app improves your ability to see the big picture and provides you the freedom to focus on the little details that you might have missed otherwise. If you want to create a product that your target users will be interested in, you will need to go through creating, testing, and optimizing the wireframe of your app. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to learn new tools, and you can always rely on Andromo to make a great wireframe for the app.

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