How to Create a Wireframe for an App in 6 Steps

If you make this mistake when developing custom software or application, you are wasting your time and money.

Directly starting a development without properly creating a detailed visual guide (also known as a wireframe).

But, do you know why you must start with a wireframe?
What are the benefits of creating a wireframe?

Here is a list of 5 benefits of creating a wireframe:

  • A wireframe (page schematic or screen blueprint) acts as a backbone of creating any application
  • Creating a wireframe brings clarity and defines the scope of your project idea
  • Wireframe cuts development time and saves effort and money
  • A visual guide helps you to decide the proper flow of a user journey in your application
  • A wireframe helps you to define and plan the information hierarchy on a page screen level

Creating a wireframe is not easy.

If a proper process is not followed, you might end up with the following issues.

  1. Unable to create a proper user flow
  2. Facing difficulty in mapping up the mobile app screens because of undefined user flow

Being a leading app development company in Canada, creating a wireframe is one of our core processes and expertise. In this guide, we will share our step-by-step process on how to create a wireframe for an app.

By the end of this guide, you will learn

  • The step-by-step process of creating a wireframe
  • The essential things to consider in a wireframe
  • The importance and uses of creating a wireframe

Let’s get started.

How to Create a Wireframe for an App: Follow These 6 Steps

Here is a six-step process for creating a mobile app wireframe.

steps to create a wireframe

  1. Get Clarity With Your Vision

  2. When you are planning to create an application from scratch, then the wireframe helps you to shape the idea. Having a clear vision helps you prepare a plan to match the expectations. Follow these points if you want to have a clear vision of the idea.

    • Research and know more about the idea of the application
    • Helps you visualize the end results in your app for users
    • Know the type of the application your client wants
    • Know the features your client wants to include
    • Get a clear understanding of the app audience

    Getting a proper understanding of the requirements helps you design the application accordingly. Consult your client to know each detail of the application idea for creating detailed wireframes.

    When you want to draw a wireframe of a mobile application, you must be able to get answers to the following questions.

    • How does this application help your users?
    • Which core problems will the app solve?
    • What are the core parts of the application?
    • Which advanced features do users want in the application?
    • How should the user flow in the application?
    • How should the user interact with the application?

    If you have the answers to the above questions, it makes wireframing an app easy. So, you create a tangible user flow of your application idea. Depending on the wireframe mobile app designers and developers create the final application.

    Action Tip: You need to define the scope of your mobile app idea. It means you need to decide the required functionality and how your mobile app will solve the problems of your users.

    For creating a detailed wireframe of your mobile app, you need to do user research.

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  3. Conduct Market Research

  4. Check your competitors’ mobile apps available in the market similar to your idea, so you can enhance your mobile app idea to take it to the next level. Before creating a mobile app or website wireframe, conduct primary research. While researching, you need to know the audience for your mobile app and its pain points.

    To conduct proper user research, follow these points.

    • Know the competitors of your mobile application to get an idea of where you can improve your app
    • Check the feedback and reviews on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Ensure your application is an improved version for your users
    • Explore the UI/UX of the top mobile apps in your niche to implement a more intuitive UI/UX in your mobile app
    • Note down the core features you must integrate

    While checking competitors for your mobile application, you need to check both types of competitors. Direct and indirect competitors.

    Direct competitors are who have applications similar to your idea. And indirect competitors who have applications similar to your idea but their user value proposition is different.

    A unique value proposition is a benefit of features that make the app unique from its competitors.

    Furthermore, to create wireframes, you need to identify the user personas. User personas are fictional characters that might use your product in a similar way. A user persona is about what’s important for the user and what’s not. For instance, a user persona consists of a user name, occupation information, demographics, pain points, and challenges. Let’s look at the following image to understand the user persona.

    Smashing Magazine

    Source: SmashingMagazine

    Defining the scope of your mobile application helps you to prepare a flow of the application that matches the expectation of the app owner. And elements of the app get aligned with the objectives.

    Action Tip: You can create a user persona using Hubspot’s free user persona tool.
  5. Check the Latest Design Patterns

  6. Before you think of designing a mobile app wireframe, you must know the latest trends in mobile app design. This will help you to know which types of elements you must use in your mobile application. When you think of creating a wireframe for an Android mobile app, it is totally different from the iOS version of the application.

    Having the idea of the latest UX templates idea helps you to frame the wireframe as per the current design trends. In simple terms, you need to check the elements of the existing application and create a design that is the latest and most attractive.

    For instance, check the following image of the mobile app where the UI/UX designer has placed different elements in the right place of a mobile app screen.

    Behance

    Source: Behance.net

    By doing this, you implement creativity and design of the wireframe accordingly. Your UI elements should be relevant to your mobile app concept. And each of your UI elements should connect and layered well with each other.

    Action Tip: To get an idea of the latest design patterns, you can subscribe to the following websites.

    • Awwwards
    • HackDesign
    • UI Design Patterns
    • User Interface Engineering
  7. Check the Latest Features to Include

  8. You need to filter out the essential features that you want to include in the application. Also, perform the core research to find the unique features that are actually helpful to your users.

    This helps you to save time and you are able to create a user journey easily with the exact features that users need in the app.

    For instance, Starbucks’ app increased its user engagement and revenue by including useful features for users. Starbucks reported a growth of $2.65 billion in revenue after introducing a reward loyalty program in their application. This strategy tempts users to spend more money at Starbucks to gain more reward (stars) points in the app. A user can use these stars to get other benefits like free-in-store refills, special member offers/events, and get a free beverage on the user’s birthday.

    Also, remember too many functionalities in the application may make it confusing for your users. Instead, make your mobile application simplified and seamless for the users. If you want to know more about how to create an MVP version of the application, you can read this detailed guide.

    image
  9. Design the Wireframe of an App

  10. Now, you start designing a wireframe. For creating wireframes, you need wireframing software or app designing tools like Adobe XD, Figma, and Sketch. These wireframing tools have the essential features and elements that make it easy for you to design a wireframe.

    In fact, our BA team at Space-O uses the AdobeXD tool to create appealing wireframes that are error-free and scalable for future requirements.

    Let’s understand how you can create a wireframe for your app idea using a digital tool.

    Having a basic understanding of these tools allows you to design a wireframe for your application.

    For instance, you want to create a login screen for your mobile app. Let’s see how the wireframe of the login screen will be. An app login screen consists of a logo, two text fields, text, a button, and two links one of forget and another of signup. These all are individual elements used together to create a screen.

    So, designing a wireframe of a mobile application includes placing different elements and ensuring each component (consisting of different elements) sync with the other perfectly. For example, placing text, images, and buttons in the right place and each of these elements are set properly on the app page. Check the following image of the login screen.

    login-screen

    Now, once users login into your application, they are able to tick the preferences of products they want to see on the home screen.

    preffered-categories

    While designing a wireframe, you can create reusable content blocks (components) that ease your work in designing wireframes. When you make any change in components, it automatically updates that component wherever it is used in the different app screens. Check the following screen to get an idea of a component.

    home-screen

    Next, you design the home screen of your application for your uses by placing different elements like images, text, buttons, and icons in the right place. Check the following image of the wireframe created for the homepage of the application.

    latest-design-patterns

    You need to make sure that your wireframe is according to the latest design patterns. Generally, you also need to consider the mobile frame before creating a mobile application wireframe.

    Make sure you create a wireframe as per your decided user flow. So, when the final design of the mobile app is released, it is according to requirements. Once your wireframe is created, it is then converted into simple clickable prototypes.

    Want to download a free designing tool to create a wireframe?

    Check out this free JustinMind design tool

  11. Reviewing and Improving Your Mobile App Wireframe

  12. Now, you have designed the wireframe of your mobile application. However, you need to conduct simple testing to know whether the elements in the wireframe are functioning properly and kept in the right place. Ensure the user flow is tangible in your designed wireframe and matches your requirements.

    Wireframe testing refers to testing the user interaction, design flow, and user flow at the wireframe level.

    So, while mapping your mobile app screens every component and element is synced properly, and it’s according to the defined user journey without anything getting missed.

    Once your mobile app wireframe is ready, then with a digital prototyping tool like Adobe XD convert your wireframe into interactive prototypes.

    Action Tip: Ensure your wireframe is as per your user flow and each app screen maps well with the other ones.

As you have learned about the basics of wireframing and the process of creating a wireframe, now let’s know the essential things to check.

What are the Important Things to Check in a Wireframe?

In the typical design process, creating a mobile app wireframe helps you to get a better understanding of your mobile application idea. It helps you to create quick concepts from your thoughts.

These important points help you to make sure your mobile application wireframe matches the scope and requirements. Let’s know the things to check when your wireframe is designed.

  • Your wireframe should not miss any app functionality to ensure your wireframe matches the scope and the requirements as discussed
  • The connectivity of the elements in the wireframe should be mapped correctly
  • Your wireframe must satisfy the purpose for which you are building the app
  • It allows you to ensure that your wireframe does not have unnecessary features in your app
  • Allows you to know that the app screens are properly utilized

Let’s now check why creating a wireframe is important in app development stages.

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Why is Creating a Wireframe Important?

The main reason to create a wireframe is to get clarity of layout and navigation. Your mobile app wireframe is the first visual graphic that your stakeholders see.

It allows you to visualize the app screen and what the app looks like. Also, it helps to know whether your app will be created as per the requirements or not.

  1. Having a Visual Guide Acts as a Blueprint for Developers

  2. It is necessary to have a blueprint of your mobile application. Having a blueprint helps every member of the app development team to be on the same page. It helps to ensure that you should not miss any core elements of the application.

    The app wireframing process helps you to know whether your mobile app is able to solve the core problems of your users or not. So, if you have the right blueprint of the mobile app, then you can easily hand it over to the app developers and they can start working on it.

    Having a blueprint of your mobile application major changes in the app development process. Wireframe helps you to visualize how your app looks on phone screens when opened on an actual device.

  3. Wireframe Helps You Clear Your Requirements

  4. When you are not sure about your mobile app idea, creating a wireframe helps. As you have a raw mobile app idea, it becomes difficult to decide the features of your mobile app.

    Be clear with the purpose of your mobile app. This helps you to decide on the right features and functionalities to integrate into your mobile application.

    Recently, one of our clients found us while searching on Google about a reputed mobile app development company in Canada. Then he talked with us to develop a custom ride-sharing mobile application. Our client was clear about developing a rideshare app that eases the hassle of users booking on-demand rides. That helped us to deliver the exact custom mobile application as per his expectations. Check this case study to know more about this application.

    On-Demand Ride Sharing Application

    On-Demand Ride Sharing Application

    Our client wanted to make a custom ride-sharing application for the people of Virginia, USA. This application allows people of Virginia to book and share rides without any hassle. So far, this custom ridesharing application has completed around 5K rides and has over 2K drivers working.

  5. Avoid Gaps in Your App

  6. Basically, wireframes help you figure out the placement of elements on your mobile screens and prioritize content accordingly. Also, before you start your project, it is essential to list down the features you want to include in your app. Wireframe helps you to do it.

    To create a wireframe of your mobile app, you need every small detail to include in your application. So, at the time of development, there is no confusion.

    This was all about the process of creating a wireframe from scratch for an app idea. If you want to know more information on the wireframe, then surely check out the frequently asked questions section.

FAQ About Creating a Wireframe of an App

  1. Why are mobile app wireframes essential for developers?

  2. The wireframe is a blueprint of the product. Designers create a wireframe to set the layout and components within the app screens. A proper design helps developers to create the application backend properly.

  3. Which are the best tools to create a mobile app wireframe?

  4. For creating a mobile app wireframe, there are various mobile app design tools available in the market.

    • Adobe XD
    • Balsamiq
    • UXPin
    • Sketch
    • Figma
  5. What are the types of wireframes?

  6. There are three types of wireframes. They are as follows:

    1. Low-fidelity wireframes – It is an outline of app or web screens that act as rough blueprints created with pseudo-Latin text fillers and gray boxes.
    2. Mid-fidelity wireframes – It is a more accurate representation of the layout on the mobile app screens with the use of properly shaped elements.
    3. High-fidelity wireframes – It is a pixel-specific layout where it includes images and the actual content in the wireframe.
  7. What is the difference between a wireframe and a prototype?

  8. A wireframe is a basic outline and fundamental design of elements placed on the app screen in the design process. Whereas, the prototype of the app is a simple working model of the app screens which is created based on the designed wireframe.

  9. What is a blueprint for a mobile app design?

  10. A blueprint for a mobile application is to plan out your user flow and the interaction of components in the application. It allows you to create an app layout and structure to know what it looks like. This helps you to present your mobile app idea in front of your investors and how users will interact with an app.

Want to Make a Wireframe for Your Mobile App Idea?

By now, you have understood the process and importance of creating a wireframe for an app. In short, it helps you to have a clear idea of user flows, features, functionalities, UI/UX, and content placement in the app. This helps to avoid any major mistakes in the application.

Wireframing is the first step in creating a mobile app for your idea. Once a wireframe gets approved, then only designers create prototypes and design the application.

Do you have an app idea? Or are you looking to create a wireframe for your app? Let’s talk.

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.