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New Website: Wireframing Our Way to Success

So, you’ve come up with the structure for your new website, you’re roaring and ready to go, but what’s the next step?

Do you start designing right away? Not quite.
Do you take a break? Sure, but not for too long.
Do you wireframe? Yes!

At pMD, this is exactly where we were a few weeks in our redesign of a new website for our mobile charge capture and HIPAA secure text messaging website. I sat down with our sitemap and started sketching. For those of you who don’t know, a wireframe, in terms of web or application design, is a minimal drawing used to delegate the functional elements of a screen. My sketches mostly consisted of boxes and lines, no graphical elements, and formed a rough outline of what a screen could become.

The wireframe is the part in the process where everything begins its initial formation. It’s a fun process, because it involves trying to figure out what a page is going to display and how it’ll function.

One of the pages that had the biggest transformation from our previous website is our Testimonials page. Previously, our Testimonials page consisted of a small box with a list of medical specialties, and upon clicking a specialty, a page would display a paginated list of testimonials. It was cool, but the layout made it look like we only had a handful of customer testimonials posted. We have hundreds of testimonials posted of our user's experience with our charge capture and messaging software. The purpose of the Testimonials page is to show our viewers the dedication that we have to making our clients happy. In a way, it almost needed to feel overwhelming. So, I scrapped the page and started sketching some boxes. When I was done, I stepped back and proclaimed, “This is it!”

I removed the small box, eliminated the additional click of the medical specialty, and brought the testimonials to the forefront. In terms of display, I laid out each testimonial in a series of cascading cards that filled the page from top to bottom. It was finally a good representation of content - page complete.

Creating wireframes is fun! It’s where creativity starts to take hold, but with a boundary. After wireframing each of the pages for our new website, I laid out each page, one-by-one, for my team. We discussed each page, made modifications, and after a few weeks, we marked the wireframes as completed.

So, what’s next? Do you start designing now? Yes.