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Why Your eCommerce Project Doesn’t Need a Wireframe

Michelle Kowalski
December 18, 2017 | 10:30 AM

wireframe.pngWhen updating or executing an eCommerce site, one of the most exciting phases for our clients is the Design phase. This is when they get to see their new site come to life and get a better idea of how their changes will become reality. So, it’s no surprise that clients are typically a little put off when we say that they don’t need a wireframe.

We promise there’s a method to our madness. Read on to learn why you may not need a wireframe and what our design method is instead.

Why You Don’t Need a Wireframe

The point of a wireframe is to map out how a user will interact with the design and flow through the site. For eCommerce, this includes how they will find a product, add it to the cart, and checkout. But, while they were originally intended to streamline the site design process, they often hinder the designer’s ability to solve the problem at hand. After all, design is meant to solve problems.

That’s something that often gets lost in the excitement of building a new site; a designer’s role isn’t just to make things pretty. Designers are problem solvers, and making a wireframe, more often than not, either creates more problems than it solves or is creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. And no one wants to waste time or money creating unnecessary deliverables.

Our Design Process

We typically use Magento when we’re working with a client to create a new eCommerce site. Not only does Magento offer top-of-the-line eCommerce features and functionality, it also provides a site template to build on. 99% of the time, that template meets the needs of a wireframe: it captures the user experience and shows how the site will streamline the users’ end goals.

Ecommerce site design is all about being efficient and working through design aspects that make the most sense for the project at hand. Magento’s base offering gives us a great starting point that utilizes eCommerce best practices to provide customers with a shopping process that they are familiar with.

We love working on our clients’ custom order processes and custom site functionality. In these cases, we will create something more like a designframe. A designframe combines both the UX and design requirements to build a frame with the correct fonts, buttons, etc. This gives the client a better idea of what their custom site aspects will look like. Let’s spend our time, and your money, focusing on the complicated parts of your site, instead of trying to reimagine eCommerce best practices through wireframes. 

Here’s the bottom line: like any aspect of design, a wireframe is meant to solve a problem. The problem an eCommerce wireframe solves is how will customers complete the eCommerce process, and Magento solves that problem with its out-of-the-box template. Therefore, you probably don’t need a wireframe for your whole eCommerce site. 

Do you have an eCommerce design project that could use some help? Contact our team

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