Why is a wireframe useful when designing a website?

When a web designer has to create a visual for a website it can be hard for the designer and the client to be able to visualise and understand exactly what the other person means. This can often end up with designs having to be changed a number of times as the client does not like the layout that has been visualised. All this can add time to a project and can sometimes result in extra costs for the client or time lost for the designer. Before any project goes to programming it is vital that the layout and functionality have been agreed to avoid delays and alterations at a later day.

A wireframe is simply a frame which shows where pieces of information and links etc will be displayed on a page. Unlike a visual, there will often be little or no graphics or colours, rather just boxes with headings in describing what will be in that place. Having a wireframe will allow both parties to see how the site may look once complete and to play around with the design and layout before it is taken to the next stage. Once the wireframe has been completed, it can then go to the visualisation stage.