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Wireframes are useless

According to Andy Rutledge, using schematic or sketchy wireframe layouts as first-step deliverables for clients is often a bad move.

His main points are that:

- A wireframe layout is inarticulate and doesn't give clients sufficient context to make informed decisions
- The dull and dubious representation of the design can erode client confidence and lead them to question the creativity of the designers
- Revisions of wireframes are likely since what seems sound and logical in a wireframe may be trite and malformed when the visual design is applied.

Andy suggest that instead of wireframes, our first deliverable should be one or more fully realized designs. Though wireframes aren't perfect, I doubt that many teams are ready to go back to that approach.


  • Where Wireframes Are Concerned Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - December 18, 2009

See also: Prototyping and wireframing (119) 



The problem is the lack of context, not the wireframes. If you create a bunch of sketches and slide them under the client\\\'s door, then it should be no surprise that they find them less than helpful.

Involve clients in the process of arriving at the wireframes, and they will make perfect sense to them.

Creating detailed designs up-front is a retrograde step, because now you\\\'ve got clients focused on the aesthetics, which they have trouble seeing past.

John Wood | December 21, 2009



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