Graphic Design and Wire Framing

Mon 13 January 2014 Written by Evi

I often meet new entrepreneurs and possibly great entrepreneurs looking to make their mark on the application world and create the “next big thing”. It gets me excited to recognize the creative spark in their eyes and the power of their enthusiasm. They’re always ready to pour their all into their projects. What amazes me is how often these innovators skip the details when it comes to wire frames and graphical content for their application.

What’s a Wireframe?

Wire frames are designed to lay out the way your website / app will be structured. They’re rather like an architect’s blue print. You use wireframes to sketch the general structure for each screen and define how each screen connects to another (e.g. use the “Back Button” to return to Screen A).

And the Graphical Layer?

That’s the next step in the process. Your graphic designers take your wireframes and give them flesh and blood. By that I mean they add colors, contours, fonts, backgrounds, etc.

Two Keys for Successful Application Launches

It’ll come as no surprise now when I tell you that wire framing and graphic layers are critical to the success of your application. Without paying attention to the small details of design – you have almost no chance of winning over an audience. You can blame Apple for that but it won’t change things - today’s users have high expectations when it comes to the way an app looks and feels.

5 Tips for Getting Your Wireframes and Graphic Layers Right

The good news is that getting this right doesn’t need to be rocket science. Here’s 5 simple tips that will help you shape a saleable application that excites customers from the start.

  1. Check out the competition. By that I mean get yourself on the app stores and start downloading and playing with top rated applications in every category. Ask the question, “What do I like about this?” You can always model your graphical layers on others.
  2. Check out the ratings for those applications. You may have great taste in applications or you may be one of those people who likes things that no one else does. You can look at user ratings and feedback to get a feel for what other people like and what they didn’t like. This can help you pick out ideas for immediate wire-framing.
  3. Search out other applications with cool graphics. Ask yourself what it is that makes you think those graphics are so intriguing. You can always work out who the designer was with a little Google work and either engage with them or emulate them.
  4. Be prepared to shell out for your graphics - top designers cost top dollar. Yet without a good designer your project is destined for the trash can. Don’t try and cut corners and don’t forget that competition in the app market is seriously tough. Pay well for stunning designs from premium designers and knock your would-be customer’s socks off.
  5. Communicate, communicate and communicate. Once you have a designer on board make sure they know what it is you want to do. Have regular sit downs with the project team leader and make sure every screen is enhanced for clarity. Be sure to establish communications channels for queries, etc. so that your design phase runs smoothly.