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wireframe

Contributor(s): Corinne Bernstein

A wireframe is a black and white line drawing that's used in early-stage web design to provide stakeholders with a visual representation of a web page's layout and information architecture. Wireframes can be thought of as problem-solving tools; they help design team members prioritize the placement of content on a page and identify user experience (UX) problems early on. The framework, which was inspired by the use of wire mannequins in the fashion world, serves as a skeleton for the page's design.

Wireframes typically use boxes of various sizes to represent elements of the web page and the following elements are usually included: header and footer, search field, breadcrumb trail, site navigation, body content and share buttons. Unlike a page mock-up, which is a more detailed prototype that typically includes logos, color, images, typeface choices and copy, a wireframe's skeletal approach encourages design team members to experiment with the placement of page components and quickly make changes without requiring too much time or effort.

This was last updated in June 2018

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