Wireframing ensures a great user experience(UX). In the age of rapid development, UX is often ignored or implemented way later in the project.
Figma provides a way for project managers to integrate UX early in their project. This not only saves time but also solves one of the critical aspects of an app, i.e., user experience.
In this article, we will take a deep look at wireframing and how you can use Figma to wireframe your idea (app or website).
So, without any delay, let’s get started.
What is Wireframing And Why Do We Need It?
Wireframing is the process of exploring diagrams to understand the design of an app. It can be either low-fidelity or mid-fidelity depending on the use case. For instance, low-fidelity diagrams are aimed at user research whereas mid-fidelity are aimed at UX research.
To provide greater value to your time, we will showcase a mid-fidelity approach using Figma.
But, why do you need wireframing at all?
The user interface is a way for users to interact and access functionality. The interaction should be as user-friendly as possible so that the user experience stays optimal at all times. The UI design determines how UX plays out. It is a structure-like approach. The approach determines the UX design tools and the workflow each tool can be used in. In short, the user data submissions determines the UX design workflow, and the developer needs to identify and optimize the UI design tool and its workflow.
Did you get it?
Well, let’s try to simplify it from the viewpoint of wireframing. Wireframing enables the best possible way to structure the user interface. It eliminates the need for guesswork and hence saves time by pointing out every simple step that needs to take to create an outstanding visual design.
The wireframing process is the backbone of great design and excellent user experience. Also, wireframing being the background optimization process, won’t look great. In fact, you will see blocks that showcase meaning, good enough for taking feedback.
So, how do you use Figma to achieve an excellent user experience using wireframing? Let’s get started.
But, before that, let’s learn why we are using Figma.
The first thing that you will notice about Figma is that it is free for individuals. So, if you are starting out wireframing, then Figma is a great pick. Their premium plans are aimed at teams and are also well priced. Another thing that makes Figma so amazing is that it is web-based. So, you can get started with Figma anywhere you want. They also offer a native desktop app that uses Electron.
Apart from these, it also offers a great UI & prototyping feature, powered by strong vector features.
Overall, you get access to an excellent well-rounded package to work on your design and optimize it for real-world usage.
Quick Introduction to Wireframing with Figma
To get started, you need to either go to the Figma official web app or download their native application. You will also need an account before you can get started with it.
Step 1: Setting up the project
In the beginning, you will need to create a project. The project creation process is easy. Once you are logged in, you will see the following screen.
There is a lot of stuff on the screen. All you need to do is click on the + New button on the top right and then select Design file.
This should open up your project.
Step 2: Setting up Artboard
With the project setup, it is now time to start the artboard. This can easily be done by pressing some of the accessible shortcuts on your keyboard. To create one, you need to press A and then click on Desing > Desktop.
Under Desktop, you can choose any artboard size. The options include Desktop(1400 x 1024), MacBook(1152 x 700), MacBook Pro (1400 x 900), Surface Book (1500 x 1000) and iMac (1280 x 720).
In our case, we are going to choose Desktop. You can proceed with any other artboard size as per your requirement.
Step 3: Gather Requirements (Functional)
It is now time to gather requirements about your project. If you are this far in, it is probable that you already have some sort of understanding of what your users want. In case you are not sure, it is always wise to do user research and come back to creating your wireframe later.
User research becomes more important in cases where you are building a low-fidelity wireframe as it is meant to be aimed at users themselves.
There can be many functional requirements for your project. However, in most cases, it is common to find two requirements: “filter by the tool”, and “number of workflow users”.
With these requirements, we are ready to start creating our wireframe.
Step 4: Getting Started With Shapes
Shapes are crucial to define a good wireframe. If you are new to wireframe using Figma, then you may want to use their wireframe kits. They are easy to use and are aimed at new users. But, they also bring some constraints to your wireframe design process. In simple words, you will not have complete control of your design.
To overcome it, you may want to use shapes and text.
Figma provides all the necessary tools to incorporate text and shapes. You can find all these options in the menu section. But, it is a great idea to use keyboard shortcuts as it will enable you to do things faster and more optimally. You can find the whole list of shortcuts on their documentation page.
Step 5: Style and Transitions
Next, you need style and transitions. Styling is always optional when it comes to wireframing. After all, wireframe doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing, but functional. But, it also doesn’t harm if you style your wireframe so it becomes more presentable to the audience.
Next, we have transitions that showcase how the artboard will look when a transition takes place. To show the transition, you need to copy your artboard and then make the changes to the new artboard. Yes, it is that simple!
Step 6: Testing
The last step would be to test your artboard. Check out if the connections work as intended so that they can work for taking feedback.
Moreover, you can also share the artboard using the share button available in the top-right corner.
Figma is quite popular when it comes to wireframing. If you are new, you will surely find value in the time you spend using it to create wireframes. Also, it has a dedicated community that can help you if you feel stuck.
So, are you going to recommend Figma to others for creating wireframes? Comment below and let us know.