First of all, what is a wireframe? A wireframe is like a basic sketch of a digital project, such as a website or app. It’s the first step in visualizing your idea, similar to how an architect draws plans before building.
In my everyday design work, I love starting with low-fidelity wireframes in Figma. They’re like quick sketches that help my team and I brainstorm and decide on the basics. It’s fun and easy to change things at this stage.
Check out this blog post on How to add Fonts In Figma.
Then, as our project gets more defined, we shift to high-fidelity wireframes. These are more detailed and give us a real feel of what the final app will look like.
In this article, I’ll delve into the different types of wireframes and explain how to effectively create each type in Figma.
3 Types of Wireframes
Note: The screenshots and steps provided in this guide are based on the Mac version of Figma. If you’re using Windows or other platforms, the interface may have slight variations, but the process remains the same.
Low-Fidelity Wireframes: These are basic and quick sketches. They are used early in the design process for brainstorming and layout structuring. They typically lack detailed elements, focusing on layout and concept.
Mid-Fidelity Wireframes: More detailed than low-fidelity, these wireframes include more accurate representations of layout and navigation, often with placeholder text and basic visual elements. They’re used for more refined planning and internal reviews.
High-Fidelity Wireframes: These are detailed and close to the final design, including accurate typography, colors, and images. High-fidelity wireframes are used for client presentations and to provide developers with a clear idea of the intended final product.
Picture you’re making a simple meditation app, and you’re working on the first page where people can choose different audio files. We’ll use this idea to look at the three kinds of wireframes. Each one will show us how the app’s first page can start simple and get more detailed step by step.
Check out this list of the Best Figma Tutorials.
Low Fidelity Wireframes
Step 1: Open Figma and select the ‘Frame’ tool to create a new frame. You can do this by pressing “F”. Next, choose a preset size that matches your design needs. For this case, lets use “iPhone 14 & 15 Pro Max”
Step 2: Use the ‘Rectangle’ and ‘Line’ tools to draw basic shapes representing the primary elements like headers, footers, and content areas.
Step 3: Use the ‘Text’ tool to add basic labels and placeholder text. This is crucial for clarifying what each section represents and understanding the layout’s function. It adds context to your design, making it easier to visualize how the final product will communicate information.
Step 4: Use basic shapes or lines to sketch out key navigation elements like menus and buttons. This approach helps visualize how users will interact with your design.
Mid Fidelity Wireframes
Step 1: Enhance your low-fidelity wireframe by refining the sizes and alignment of the shapes. This step makes your layout more precise, better reflecting the actual design.
Step 2: Replace placeholder text with more detailed content. Use Figma’s text properties to experiment with font sizes and styles.
High Fidelity Wireframes
Step 1: At this stage, start adding color schemes and finalize the typography in your wireframe. This crucial step enhances the visual appeal and brings your design closer to what the final product will look like, both in style and feel.
Step 2: Replace placeholder images with real content. This helps in visualizing the final outcome more accurately. This is also the time where you can optimize the colors and other details.
How do you create transitions between your wireframes?
Step 1: Position the wireframes you intend to link next to each other and switch to prototype mode in Figma, located at the top right corner. This mode enables you to set up interactions and transitions between different wireframes.
Step 2: Select the wireframe you want to link. A small circular node appears on the wireframe’s edge.
Click and drag this node towards the other wireframe you’re connecting it to. A line will appear, showing the connection between the two wireframes, crucial for establishing a clear transition in your design flow.
How do you create a grid in your wireframe?
Step 1: To begin creating a grid in Figma for a mobile design, start by selecting the frame you’ll be working with. This frame is the canvas where your grid will be applied.
Step 2: After selecting your frame in Figma, navigate to the panel on the right side of the screen. Here, you’ll find the ‘Layout Grid’ section. Click on it to access a variety of grid options that you can apply to your frame, allowing you to customize the grid according to your design needs.
Step 3: Set up your grid by choosing the ‘Columns’ option for a standard grid layout. Adjust the count, gutter, and margin settings to fit your mobile design needs. This grid will serve as a guide for placing elements in your design, ensuring consistency and alignment.
How do you share your wireframes with others?
Step 1: Click the ‘Share’ button located in the top right corner of the Figma interface.
Step 2: Choose the appropriate permission level for your recipients – “Can View” for viewing only, or “Can Edit” to allow editing. You can either send the wireframe directly via email or copy the shareable link to distribute as you prefer.
The joy of seeing a concept evolve from a simple sketch to a detailed design is truly rewarding. Keep experimenting, keep refining, and enjoy every step of the creative process as you bring your ideas into reality with Figma.
For a final piece of advice, make sure to check out the Figma community. It’s an amazing place where you can find a lot of good ideas and ready-to-use designs.
You can also learn a lot from other designers there. It’s a good spot to show your designs to others, get their thoughts on your work, and even work with others on new projects. It’s really helpful for getting better at design and meeting people who like designing too.
Related Article: Top UI Design Software.