For web designers, mental flexibility is almost as important as their technical knowledge. Using UI wireframing tools like SnapUp to bring a wireframe sketch online is a great way to ensure an agile development mindset.
Sometimes the easiest way to start designing a web site is to sit down with the old standby – a pencil and paper. The problem is, once you have that sketch of your layout, how do you get it online? The solution can be simple – use downloadable cutouts on that allow you to lay out key page elements and group different elements on another sheet of paper.
The transition from sketch to cutouts makes it easier for some to truly visualize what the end product can look like. From there, the creativity really begins, because you can take the different elements and try out a variety of layouts – discarding ideas that you don’t like before you get into a situation where your design is online and you’re stuck with it.
Some might argue that with a tool you can still easily make amendments without losing time, and that is true. However if you are in a workshop environment with a group of people, working on the same wireframe will be difficult. Imagine a laptop connection to big screen and everyone giving out ideas, but only one person using a tool because you want the group effort on one screen. This can be quite boring for the rest of the group and might be even difficult to express certain ideas. People will start sketching on paper to express themselves better and someone else re-doing it on the tool. This can work, however imagine if the attendees of this workshop have cutout elements and without sketching on paper and using any online tools the group comes up with a sketch. It’s relatively easy to move around cutout elements of paper and come up with a wireframe.
Online wireframe tools make it easy to choose an appealing layout and up to a certain point, still have flexibility to make changes if necessary. This helps some designers to avoid getting stuck in a design where a single crucial element doesn’t quite fit. After you snap your photograph and upload it to start testing your user interface, you still have quite a bit of flexibility to make changes with online prototyping tools.
These tools take your ideas from sketch and layout board to the screen, where you get the truest idea of how your layout is going to look. Online wireframe tools make group collaboration and input on web sites much easier to achieve and obtain. Feedback is yet another key to an agile mindset when it comes to web site development.
Andrew Micallef, Product Manager @ QuickFocus
Andrew studied software engineering in university and discovered a passion for Agile and online software. This drives him to seek simplicity and an exceptional user experience that allows people to focus on their tasks rather than the tools.