Knowledge Base Articles > What Are Wireframes?
Did you hire a designer or programmer or an information architect / user experience professional? Did they deliver you a set of preliminary designs built using Balsamiq or some other wireframing tool? If so, this document is for you.
We know your time is valuable so we'll keep it short.
The designs you received are called wireframes (sometimes called wires, mockups, or mocks).
A wireframe is a schematic, a blueprint, useful to help you and your programmers and designers think and communicate about the structure of the software or website you're building.
The same screen can be built in a lot of different ways, but only a few of them will get your message across correctly and result in an easy-to-use software or website. Nailing down a good interface structure is possibly the most important part of designing software.
You should congratulate yourself on choosing to work with someone who understands these cost-saving benefits. :)
Doing this work now, before any code is written and before the visual design is finalized, will save you lots of time and painful adjustment work later. For more information about why people choose to wireframe, read about The Two Phases of Wireframing or watch our video called Wireframing for Newbies.
Wireframes built with Balsamiq have an intentional low-fidelity look and feel to them, for the following reasons:
Certainly! You're lucky that the person you're working with choose Balsamiq to share wireframes with you. No other wireframing software is easy enough to use for non-technical people. If you can use Powerpoint, you can use Balsamiq. (We're not biased, of course 😉)
With great power comes great responsibility. Just because wireframing tools make it easy to come up with user interfaces, it doesn't mean that creating good user interfaces is easy.
Human Computer Interaction and User Experience Design is an art and science, and lots of people study a lifetime to become experts at it. Wireframes are only part of the process. You might also want to use personas, site maps, prototypes, usability tests, and many more design techniques.
A good dose of common sense will go a long way, but is no substitute for working with an experienced UX professional.
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