Paper wireframes served our clients and us perfectly for a long time. They provided a reliable way to show people what we were thinking about and what their site would look like in a simple way so everyone could understand. But for larger projects, we’ve started moving away from paper wireframes to live prototypes.

What does it mean to you?

If you’re in the market for a brand new website or a redesign, it means we’ll invest time in your site with the aim of presenting you with a real, live on-screen prototype.

What’s changed? It’s all about the technology. Previously it’d take forever to knock up a prototype website something suitably good-looking, practical and usable for clients as well as cost effective. But developments to the WordPress platform we love so much mean that these days, creating a dynamic, alive-and-kicking prototype site is on the cards.

It’s so much easier for our clients to engage with a prototype than a wireframe on paper. It’s much more like the real thing, requiring less of a leap of the imagination to visualise the final site. Which means the decision-making process tends to be faster, too. In our experience the easier and smoother we can make the whole website design thing, the better our clients like it!

Why is a live prototype website design so fresh?

It’s a user thing. People can click on a live prototype and visit different pages, get a real sense of the navigation and structure, and we all make better informed, faster decisions as a result.

The WordPress theme we use most – the brilliant Avada – lets us prototype remarkably quickly and efficiently, which makes it a cost-effective practical option for the first time, as long as the size of the project merits it. For tiny web design projects, paper wireframing is still what we recommend, simply to keep the costs down for you.

How Avada is changing the way we work

Because we’ve been working on the WordPress Avada Framework for some time, we know it inside out. Avada means we can visualise your website design efficiently and accurately. Whereas previously we’d Balsamiq all our wireframes, take the client through them and get them signed off, now we build a prototype with Avada.

Avada lets us demo any layout to clients in a wireframe style, in a way that drives the decision-making process in the right direction, in the right order. All of which saves everyone time and hassle.

Teasing out any issues up front

It’s annoying having to go back and forth and because it eats up time, it’s expensive. Now we can tease out all the thinking up front. Once you’re happy with the way things are looking and working, we duplicate the install, continue styling the prototype and then hand overt to our designers. In the meantime we leave you with a cool, fully-operational prototype to play with and share around the office. As you can imagine, our clients love it.

What have we discovered so far?

Having done it several times, the benefits of live website prototyping are clear:

  • We resolve nearly 80% of the technical difficulties at prototype stage, with less risk of having to back-track
  • Clients find it reassuring that we can provide something tangible early in the website designing process
  • Our designers enjoy using interactive wireframes, which are much more practical than reams of clunky .png files
  • With something real to click on instead of a sheet of paper, it’s much easier for our clients to make intelligent, correctly informed decisions

The wireframe demo is fast becoming the most valuable tool we use, and it’s already paying off in the form of happy clients who appreciate the way it smooths their path and helps them get exactly what they want from their web design project.

Working smarter, not harder

If you want to work smarter, not harder, it’s the future. If that sounds like web design heaven to you, let’s talk. A stunning live prototype awaits you…