CHALLENGE WIREFRAMING TRADITION
Throughout my journey within user experience — whether I was called an Interaction Designer, Information Architect or User Experience Designer — one thing was always consistent: the use of wireframes. To solve a problem, a set of requirements and to make sure we were on the same page as the client, wireframes were the channel to mutual understanding.
Don’t get me wrong. I took pride in my craft and the details I captured in my wires; static or clickable, as well as the hundreds of pages I created as complementary documentation to make sure all the discussions and requirements were thoroughly captured.
There are, however, a few drawbacks with the good old wireframes.
Firstly, they take quite a while to produce, then add rounds of reviews and amends to get them signed-off — not to mention the hours/days it takes to annotate them. There’s also the challenge of communicating and visualizing more complex problems in static wireframes and properly getting the client’s buy-in — there’s always a risk if some parts of the solution are up for interpretation.
And I’ll never forget the day when I handed over a stack of very well created wireframes, on which I’d spent weeks together with the client to produce, just to have my fellow designer have a look at them and reply “Sorry Angelica, I don’t paint by numbers.” My wires were too detailed and the specs too tight, which didn’t leave any freedom or room for creativity for my colleague!
The types of projects I’m involved in have also changed — what previously used to be a responsive website, or maybe an app, is now more often than not a digital transformation project
, which touches every part of the business. Our workshops and decisions help align multiple stakeholders across the business, and shape not just their digital touch points, but also the organization structure and ultimately how the business itself runs. Needless to say, wireframes don’t really cut it anymore.