Product development with wireframes is a very useful technique that many product managers and product owners are adopting. Unfortunately, it’s still a rear thing to see in many huge enterprises.

One of the reasons for this issue is that many teams are far away from the customer. They don’t see the motivation or the need to invest in wireframes or even paper prototypes.

Instead, they rely on their dev infrastructures where developers fire a virtual machine and show the working software. The other option is having everything deployed in a virtual environment.

You might ask yourself: “Why to waste my time in creating a wireframe?”.

In this article, you will find out a few reasons why you should invest in creating wireframes.

Reason 1: wireframes are very cheap tool to document changes and receive a feedback

The reason we develop something is to deliver a value to the end user. Many people will argue that everything which is not focused on coding or validating a product is a waste. On the other hand, how often happens we deliver a product to the end user, just to see their confused face?

Having a wireframe prototypes is an amazing way to interact with your dev team and users to gather a deeper understanding of the use case.

Even if you think you understand your customer needs completely, just having a small prototype is great and your user will love it too.

Reason 2: It takes less time to build and its cheap

I still remember my first user testing in 2010. We had built a feature for the HR department of our student organization and we were very proud of. We consider it extremely easy to use.

During our department meeting, we planned to have a user testing session and to learn if there are any changes needed. We had prepared the use cases, and we went to the end users with the tasks.

During the next hour, we were astonished at how the end user struggled to complete a lot of tasks. What we found out is we should re-design the flows to be easier for the users or add more documentation.

Which one is easier to do at that time when the software is already developed? Just reflect the amount of documentation you see for software and the amount of tutorials you need to go through to understand how to operate a solution.

Maybe the reason for it is that of the example I shared above?

Compare to the cost of development, wireframes are amazingly cheap to develop, destroy and re-create.

Reason 3: There are a lot of ready solutions to facilitate product development with wireframes

The amount of ready solutions and templates is enormous. A desktop solution like Balsamiq has a lot of pre-made components that you can use to represent mobile device and add buttons which look and feel like an Android or Apple devices.

There are on-line solutions as well, which you can use to cooperate with other product owners or product managers.

I had done some wireframes recently for an app I am developing for a watch and even ask for a feedback on the social media.

Wireframes makes it easy for the end user to see how the app would work without investing a lot of effort in the design.

Summary

Product development with wireframes is an excellent technique you could use to minimize the total development cost and to increase the user engagement.

There are concerns about the time spend for developing such prototypes, but with today’s tools and technologies, you can easily find pre-made buttons and other elements and make your work easy and fast.

The amount of value suppresses the price you would pay to the buy the software and the time you will waste to redesign your workflows and architecture.

Do you use wireframes in your company and your software?

Please share in the comments below!

Aleks Vladimriov is a Senior Software Developer, recognized Project Manager and Soft-skilled trainer and a coach.

Aleks Vladimirov

Solution Engineering Manager at Thales | Senior IT Professional | Startup Mentor and Product Manager

Aleks is experienced Product Manager with an engineer background and over 10 years of experience as a software developer. He works with different governments and is responsible for negotiation features and requirements, understanding the customers’ needs and supporting the senior management with regular reports and analysis. He held various positions starting as a software developer, moving to a team leader and software architect.

He strives in waterfall and agile environment alike. He is certified Scrum Master and Prince2 Practitioner and he knows how to design business processes and help teams optimize their work.
During his tenure, he had to wear many hats, prioritizing business requirements, delegating work and mentoring team members, creating mockups with Balsamiq, providing MS Project plan to the senior management.

He had worked in many international teams, located in the same city or distributed in different countries and continents. He had been a team leader of cross functional international team of 8 people.

In his current position, he is very much client focused. He has excellent presentation skills.
He delivers training sessions on presentation skills and leadership and he had helped hundred of people to improve their presentation skills.

He is also interested in creating more positive changes in the workplace by using entrepreneurship skills.
He had won startup competition where his team had validated and develop a business idea from scratch.

In his free time, he writes in his blog about effective product development.

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