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UX design is one of the decisive factors for install penetration of an app. A bad design can render a good idea unusable. Apart from usability and stability of an app, the design plays a critical role in determining if the user will retain the app in the system or look for an alternative with better design.

Wireframes and Flow Diagrams help in visualizing the look and feel of the app or website and how the user will access one function after another.

A Wireframe is a series of pictures either hand-sketched or digitally produced to show how the different screens of an app or website look on different devices and the placement of buttons, text, and images. A Flow Diagram shows how the users will progress from one Wireframe screen to the next, i.e. which wireframe screen will appear on the use of a particular UI element. There are multiple Flow Diagrams for an app or a website showing the alternate paths the user takes.

Wireframes and Flow Diagrams are usually created by UX designer or UX architect or an Information architect. Once designed and shared, they form the blueprint for further discussion, collaboration, and concept testing in the early stages.

In a custom application development project, Wireframes and Flow Diagrams offer the following functional benefits:

1. Information Link Between the Teams

Wireframes and Flow Diagrams form the essential information link between the developers and UX designers. Tools for Wireframing and Flow Diagrams like Proto.io, help in testing the user interactions on the app or website and facilitate collaboration.

For example, teams can refine the flow if it takes multiple touch/click events to arrive on a frequently used option and try placing the option on a relevant wireframe screen.

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2. Visualization on Different Screens

Wireframing for cross-device apps that need to be accessed from mobile, tablet, and web helps in visualizing look and feel on screens of different sizes. It is important to maintain consistency of UI elements across devices and flows so that the user experience remains the same. High-performance apps have the same flow, whether it is a smartwatch, a mobile phone or a web app.

3. High Fidelity App Prototyping

With advanced tools like InVision, Axure or Adobe XD, teams can generate Interactive Prototypes instead of static pictures and flowcharts. With tappable elements, these tools offer a next-to-the-real-app feel and let the team validate the idea before putting all resources in action.

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Such prototypes can be shared with project managers, business stakeholders, and professional reviewers. For custom application development projects, app prototyping helps in assessing if the design is adaptive and interactions are aligned with the requirements.

4. Superior User Experience

In a saturated app market, where every day tens of new apps are added to the marketplace, User Experience has emerged as the biggest distinctive feature. Wireframes and Flow Diagrams help the development team in finding the best way of using an app and thus facilitate building a superior user experience. Both techniques offer developers to simulate how the user will access a function and how his/her screen will look.

5. Minimal and Functional Design

Recently, minimal design has gathered momentum in design of apps and websites. Balancing UI elements with white space and fewer screens to arrive at the desired link, have been the main goals of a minimal design. Wireframing and Flow Diagrams help developers and designers to keep the UI minimal and reduce the number of screens between entry event and desired result.

Summing Up

Wireframes and Flow Diagrams, as a blueprint of UX, essentially communicate the purpose of each page or button to the developing team and other project stakeholders. They are particularly important when the project scope is vast, release is in planned phases, and the team is distributed.

About the Author

Damco Solutions

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Damco offers end-to-end, innovative and leading edge business and technical solutions to help corporations leverage technologies, transform their businesses and acquire sustainable growth since 1996. Damco is profoundly committed to provide significant business advantages to companies worldwide by leveraging its consultative approach, global footprint, transparent engagement and strong customer focus. We have proven capabilities in new and emerging technologies and extensive experience across a broad range of industries and domains which enable us to deliver world-class, secure, scalable and reliable business systems.