Our Pro Tip: The Essential Steps for Designing Effective Wireframing and Prototyping


January 6, 2024
 min read
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Why is it effective to use wireframing and prototyping?

Wireframing and prototyping are crucial stages in the design process, and Figma is a powerful tool that can help you create professional-quality wireframes and prototypes for your projects. We recommend starting with simple wireframes that focus on layout and functionality. This will help you to quickly test different ideas and get feedback on the overall structure of your interface. We also suggest using a consistent grid to create a consistent layout and ensure that all elements are aligned correctly.

Help your team figure out and improve the scope of work

Wireframes let designers quickly make a picture of what the final product will look like and show it to the team for feedback. Wireframes also help us see which screens the app will have, what will be on each screen, and how everything will work together. Plus, looking at wireframes is much faster than reading specs. It also helps us make sure the initial estimates are the same as the final ones.

Include everyone on the team when designing the product

We all have faced the challenge of creating a great design, only to run into development limitations. Wireframes let us get developers involved in talking about designs early on, which lets them give feedback and suggest changes before starting on the visual design. This saves time and money.

It's best to keep it simple and not add too many details or design elements to the wireframes. The aim of wireframing is to create a basic representation of the interface, not a complete design. It is also a good idea to add notes to explain what different elements do and how they will work.

Organize a demonstration for clients

Getting quick responses from your customers and people with an interest in the project is an important part of designing. We've all had occasions when our stakeholders asked for revisions, and that's okay. Wireframes can make this process more effective. Making changes to prototypes takes more time and work than making changes to wireframes, so you can be more flexible and avoid wasting extra time on redoing things.

Do user testing

We recommend testing with users to see how they interact with your interface and identify any issues that need to be addressed—no one wants to release an app and find out that users don't understand it.  Wireframes can help designers get feedback from users without having to make complex prototypes. And also use Figma's collaboration feature to allow multiple people to work on the wireframe simultaneously, and make comments and suggestions. This can help speed up the design process and ensure that everyone's ideas are considered.

But, to do it right, designers should follow the best practices.

However, it's important to follow best practices to ensure that your wireframes and prototypes are practical and user-friendly. In this article, we'll discuss some best practices for wireframing in Figma.

#1: Reduce the Use of Color in Wireframes

If you are adding lots of colors to your wireframes, remember why you are doing it - to show the elements and how they interact. Ask yourself if more colors help you reach your goal.

Minimize the use of color in wireframes, we will have dedicated phase for this.

In some cases, it is possible to add colors to wireframes. However, this can be distracting to viewers and make future updates more difficult. Additionally, it is important to consider that not all clients have a good understanding of UX techniques, and may interpret colored wireframes as final designs.

Here is an example of the correct color to use in wireframes.

Although black and white is the traditional palette for wireframes, there are times when using color is appropriate. For instance, you can use red to indicate error states, blue to denote notes, and so on.

#2: Keep component designs simple

When adding components to your wireframes, opt for basic designs. Wireframes are not meant to contain highly designed and detailed components; rather, they should be easily recognizable by your team and stakeholders. Investing time and effort into detailed components will not be particularly useful.

Design components simply and make their purpose clear.

#3: Stay consistent

When creating wireframes, it is important to ensure that similar components have the same design. If components appear different, developers may question if they are the same, and this could lead to additional time being added to the estimates. To avoid confusion, remember to be consistent in your designs.

Ensure that similar components are consistent with each other and avoid using the same appearance for different components.

#4: Use actual content

UI/UX designers often mistakenly use lorem ipsum instead of real content in their wireframes. They may argue that the content isn't available yet, but a draft version can be used instead. Few designers are even aware they are making this mistake.

Replace placeholder text with real content.

Content influences the design you'll create, and the draft content will help you make the right decisions and deliver an excellent design. Using lorem ipsum, however, won't give you a full picture and will likely require many adjustments to the UI, or even worse — create a design that doesn't work. Additionally, real content will add value to your wireframes, explain the context better, and may even suggest that you should start collecting the real content now.

#5: Make notes or comments

Some design solutions may not be able to be visually illustrated, so stakeholders or developers may have questions about them. For example, the logic behind some controls. In such cases, you can provide on-screen annotations to explain the logic. This will help your team understand your solutions, saving you time from having to discuss them.

Use annotations to explain specific logic in detail.

#6: Low to high-fidelity

There is no hard and fast rule. Sometimes, low-fidelity wireframes are best, while other projects may require high-fidelity ones. It all depends on the project. If you feel the need to add more details to the wireframes, don't hesitate to do so. However, according to Eric Ries' book, The Lean Startup, don't do extra work that doesn't bring value. Start with the basics and then add details as needed. For example, if you need to draw the developers' attention to a particular custom solution, then add more details to illustrate it in your wireframes.

Both low-fidelity and high-fidelity wireframes have their place.

#7: Create a prototype from the wireframe

As designers, we work with different products. Some have simple, common interactions, while others have more advanced ones. Wireframes alone may not be enough to illustrate complex, uncommon interfaces. Rather than writing lengthy notes and spending hours explaining them, you can extend your wireframes into interactive prototypes.

Use Relume library for Webflow components.
Use Webflow to prototype

Design Process

Today, we are using no-code tools to review, design wireframes and create simple prototypes. From Figma to Webflow, watch how we work on our projects:


  • Download Relume Library Figma Kit for Figma build
  • Design your wireframe
  • Once done, download the Relume Chrome Extension for a better workflow
  • Open Relume Library components for quick build to Webflow
  • Build your prototype on Webflow

What this article is about, in a nutshell.

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