How Can You Effectively Communicate Wireframes to Clients Who Are Unfamiliar With Web Design?

January 2, 2024

Let’s see how can we make it easier for everyone to be on the same page in a new design project.

Explaining the purpose and benefits of wireframes

As I recently explained to my recent client, wireframes, especially low-fidelity ones, serve as inexpensive tools to put our ideas, business goals and vision about a mobile app or website into perspective. They also help us focus on the foundations, and functionality rather than details. I often compare them to sketches of building a house — a great instrument that gives us direction and ground for discussion after the ideation phase has passed.

Using clear and consistent annotations and labels

Adding annotations is essential to wireframes since they give more context to the vague and probably unfamiliar visuals for the client. The annotations or comments are helpful for all designers, clients, other stakeholders, and especially developers. Clear communication and language are essential for the successful use of the annotations. Having a short call explaining the wireframes and the ideas behind them is extremely helpful even when the client is familiar with the concept of wireframes.

Without proper examples, annotations and context, these are just lines and boxes. - Photo by Visual Design on Unsplash

Providing context and examples

Through example we all learn best, so make sure you are not short of such when it comes to presenting your (design) solutions. Having a short walkthrough of what types of wireframes exist and their use in each part of your design process for all involved in the design process pays off, especially when you want your design decisions to be understood and received openly. I believe part of being a good designer is to be a good teacher. Make sure you educate your teammates and client in a proper manner and timing, so your design terms don’t sound alien to anyone. 😊

Asking for specific and constructive feedback

You would be surprised how useful specific and constructive feedback might be for the entirety of a project. Here is the point where your active listening skills are being tested as well as your mediator abilities between being an advocate for the user and the business owner. Important advice is to ask open-ended and concrete questions, that will give you as much as possible insight about the present issues and concerns raised by the the discussion of wireframes. If you feel unsure or confused about anything this is the place to clear all doubts.

Educating and involving your clients

Being on the same page is the most essential part of the collaboration process. Learn how to speak your clients and teammates’ language but also make sure they easily understand you when you use any web design or ux terminology. Keeping clients involved in the process gives them not only clarity but also more understanding of your importance as a designer in the project.

Reviewing and revising your wireframes

Nothing in design is static or final. Or until the deadline comes. 😄 Same goes for wireframes, they are not static or final. They are dynamic and iterative, which means that they change and evolve as you and your clients work together to refine the design. Hence, it is important to review and edit your wireframes regularly and frequently, based on the feedback and input that you receive from your clients.

Here’s what else to consider

Make the most of your meetings. Include other teammates if possible and as early as possible, especially if you are involved in the project as a freelance designer. The marketing team might find it difficult to create visuals with a specific type of slider you have chosen, or the developers might not have the ability to translate your design because of another issue at hand. Make sure you are not designing high-fidelity wireframes in vaine.


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