Understand Your Customers First
One of the most necessary steps to web designing, wireframing supplies the needed blueprint to understand the site’s architecture. We can easily compare it with a rough draft of a home which shows us the placement of plumbing, electrical as well as other different structural elements of your home. Now, would it be right for the architect to sum up the placements without consulting the homeowner? No - after all, it’s the owner’s house, and he would have the sole authority to decide on the design part. The architect is just here to draw up and execute the homeowner’s vision and desires to reality.
The same rings true when it comes to designing a wireframe for your client. Some UX Designers are run by the notion that since they are the executioners and experts, they won’t need to discuss with customers much to come up with the blueprint. This is a grave mistake and can lead to unnecessary delays and additional cycles in your project.
The post below offers a brief on the importance of understanding customer’s objectives before beginning to wireframe.
Your client is the visionary
You may be the UX Designer but it’s for your customer’s business, and your customer is the visionary here. It’s his or her goals that you have to highlight in your documentation and until you have a clear idea about his objectives- how would you shape up a draft? It could be suggested to take up a thorough discussion session with your clients to have an in-depth understanding of their industry, market needs, target audience, expectations from the website, any legal standard or code the web design has to comply with and so on.
To address individual business needs at best
Every client has his specific business needs that they wish to highlight in their website or application. You might be a seasoned designer who has produced numerous wireframes over the years- but you should know that no two interaction design projects are same. The design for your last successful project might not necessarily fit your latest client because both of them will have specific business needs. For example, the design for an educational site would always be different from that of a fashion brand’s site. So, irrespective of your prolonged experience as a UX Designer, you have to sit with your new clients every time you begin a project to ensure that client’s individual business needs are addressed at their best with your deliverables.
To prevent unnecessary delays
Many a time, UX Designers jump on the project without discussing the client only to end up with the client declaring that their vision was not exactly captured. These designers fear that it’s a wastage of time to discuss wireframes with clients since they are not the expert’s here- but in doing so they don’t realize that they are ultimately paving the way for erroneous presentations which imply further delays. If the client does not approve the wireframe, you would have to create another set of deliverables all over again. Your client is the one who is going to use the website and not you and hence no matter how much you dedicate yourself to the design & presentation, it won’t work if the client does not approve it and after all the efforts you would have to go back to the drawing board.
Thus, it’s wiser to understand the customer’s objectives first before creating the wireframe — so that there is less chance of errors and a faster rate of approval with a lesser risk of delays.
Well, winding up, it can be concluded that it’s fundamental to have a solid grasp of your customer’s objectives, goals, and visions before you proceed with their design. Don’t just treat him as an independent 3rd party in the design process- rather you should include your client as one of your team members so that you two can walk through the best practices & sketching sessions together. It will assure a convenient communication and collaboration between you two resulting in smooth flow and better understanding of ideas that would be echoed in your deliverables.