What is Wireframe Design? Guide with Types, Examples & Tips 2024

What is wireframe design

Wireframes are essential in UI/UX design, providing the blueprint for intuitive user interfaces. Learn “What is wireframe design” and its role in crafting engaging apps and websites in this comprehensive guide. Explore different wireframe types, tips, and examples to streamline your creative process with Mocky.

See more: Wireframe vs Mockup vs Prototype

What is Wireframe Design? 

Wireframe design refers to creating a visual blueprint or skeletal structure for a website or application. It’s a simplified layout that outlines key elements, content placement, and navigation, without delving into detailed design or branding. Essentially, wireframes provide a “bare-bones” visual representation of the final product.

A wireframe visually represents the layout of a website or app, offering a simplified skeleton that outlines the placement of key elements like navigation menus, content blocks, and interactive components. Key Features of a Wireframe:

  • Navigation Menus: Horizontal or vertical menus for guiding users through the site/app.
  • Content Blocks: Placeholder rectangles or lines indicating text, headings, and lists.
  • Images and Media: Squares or rectangles with “X” marks representing image or video locations.
  • Call-to-Action Buttons: Highlighted rectangles or circles showing clickable elements.
  • Annotations: Notes explaining the purpose of various components and interactions.

What is Wireframing in UI/UX Design?

What is a UI Wireframe?

A UI (User Interface) wireframe is a structural layout that focuses on the arrangement of visual elements, such as buttons, text, images, and navigation menus. It’s more concerned with the look and feel of the design.

Purpose of UI Wireframes:

  • Visual Hierarchy: Helps designers organize content in a clear and logical hierarchy.
  • Interaction Patterns: Defines how users will interact with each UI element.
  • Consistency: Ensures consistent design patterns across pages and screens.

Example of a UI Wireframe (Webpage): A UI wireframe for a homepage, illustrating the visual layout with placeholders for a hero section, navigation bar, call-to-action buttons, and content blocks.

Read more about UI Wireframe: 10 Best Practices for Maintaining UI Wireframe Documentation

What is a UX Wireframe?

A UX (User Experience) wireframe is a layout emphasizing the user’s journey through the interface. It focuses on user flows, navigation, and ensuring a seamless experience.

Purpose of UX Wireframes:

  • User Flows: Maps out how users will move through the product’s features and pages.
  • Navigation Structure: Defines the hierarchy and organization of navigation elements.
  • Usability: Identifies potential usability issues early in the design process.

Example of a UX Wireframe (User Flow): A UX wireframe depicting a user flow diagram, showing the path a user takes from logging in to completing a purchase.

What is The Difference Between UX and UI Wireframes?

Aspect UI Wireframe UX Wireframe
Focus Visual hierarchy and layout User flows and navigation
Goal Define appearance and interaction patterns Optimize user journeys and usability
Components Buttons, text, images, navigation menus User paths, navigation structure, screen transitions
Details More detailed and polished, often mid or high-fidelity Simplified and schematic, often low or mid-fidelity
Use Cases UI pattern consistency, layout refinement User testing, navigation structure validation

UI Wireframes: Best used when refining the visual hierarchy and consistency of a product’s layout. Suitable for mid to high-fidelity wireframing stages.

UX Wireframes: Ideal for planning user flows and navigation structures at early stages, especially for usability testing.

3 Types of Wireframes Most Popular

Wireframes are classified based on their level of detail and fidelity. The three most popular types include low-fidelity, mid-fidelity, and high-fidelity wireframes. Each type serves different purposes in the design process, allowing designers and stakeholders to progressively refine ideas.

See more: Low-Fidelity Wireframes vs. High-Fidelity Wireframes

1. Low-Fidelity Wireframes


  • Rough sketches or simple digital layouts that provide a basic outline of the structure and content placement. They often include placeholders for navigation, buttons, and content blocks.
  • Grayscale or hand-drawn representations that prioritize speed and simplicity over detail.


  • Brainstorming: Quick idea visualization to validate concepts.
  • Early Feedback: Identifying potential design flaws early in the process.
  • Alignment: Aligning stakeholders on the initial structure and user flow.


  • A low-fidelity wireframe of a homepage, illustrating the general layout with navigation, hero section, and content blocks.

Low-Fidelity Wireframes


2. Mid-Fidelity Wireframes


  • More detailed than low-fidelity wireframes, mid-fidelity wireframes are digital designs with a clearer representation of content, including specific sections for images, text, and buttons. They often feature placeholder text (like “Lorem Ipsum”) and simple icons.


  • Layout Refinement: Focus on refining the layout, structure, and interaction patterns.
  • Consistency: Ensure consistent design patterns across screens/pages.
  • Content Placement: Establish a clear visual hierarchy for different content types.


  • A mid-fidelity wireframe of a landing page, including placeholders for images, text, and buttons.

Mid-Fidelity Wireframes

3. High-Fidelity Wireframes


  • Detailed and often interactive representations closely resembling the final product. High-fidelity wireframes feature realistic images, actual text, and branded color schemes.


  • Usability Testing: Allows for realistic usability testing before full development.
  • Final Design Approval: Obtain sign-off from stakeholders with a more accurate representation of the final design.
  • Prototype Development: Often serves as a foundation for clickable prototypes.


  • A high-fidelity wireframe of a dashboard, complete with charts, tables, and navigation.

High-Fidelity Wireframes

5 Tips for Creating the Best App and Website Wireframes

Creating effective wireframes is crucial for translating ideas into user-friendly app and website designs. Here are five tips to ensure your wireframes serve as solid blueprints for the final product:

1. Start with a Clear Goal

  • Define the Purpose: Clearly outline what the wireframe aims to achieve. Is it for brainstorming, prototyping, usability testing, or final design approval?
  • Target Audience: Consider who will be using the wireframe (designers, developers, stakeholders) and tailor it to their needs.
  • Scope and Features: List key features, user flows, and design requirements upfront to maintain focus.


A low-fidelity wireframe aimed at brainstorming should prioritize speed and simplicity, while a high-fidelity wireframe for final approval must include detailed annotations and branding.

2. Focus on User Flows First

  • User-Centric Approach: Before diving into the visual layout, map out the user journey from the entry point to the goal.
  • Navigation Structure: Create flow diagrams to define the navigation structure and primary paths users will follow.
  • Optimize for Usability: Ensure that primary actions (like checkout or sign-up) are easily accessible.


A UX wireframe showing a user’s path from login to purchase, highlighting each decision point and potential obstacles.

3. Use Pre-Designed Templates and Components

  • Save Time: Leverage existing templates and component libraries to avoid reinventing the wheel.
  • Consistency: Ensure consistent use of design patterns across screens/pages.
  • Customization: Tailor templates to your brand while maintaining structure.


Mocky’s comprehensive suite of wireframe templates for Jira and Confluence can be customized for different design requirements.

4. Collaborate Early and Often

  • Stakeholder Involvement: Share wireframes early with stakeholders to align on structure and goals.
  • Cross-Functional Feedback: Involve designers, developers, and UX researchers to identify potential issues.
  • Iterative Refinement: Update wireframes based on feedback to refine structure and interactions.


Use Mocky to share clickable wireframes with stakeholders, allowing them to leave comments and suggestions directly on the design.

5. Iterate Based on Feedback

  • Rapid Iteration: Quickly produce multiple versions to compare layouts and interactions.
  • User Testing: Test wireframes with actual users to identify usability issues early.
  • Final Refinement: Incorporate testing feedback into high-fidelity wireframes for usability testing and approval.


A/B tests two wireframe versions to determine which layout offers a better user experience before moving to the final design.


Wireframe design is the cornerstone of successful UI/UX design, bridging the gap between initial concepts and fully functional applications. By starting with wireframes, teams can ensure a clear, structured, and user-friendly design process.

To start creating wireframes easily and effectively, explore Mocky’s extensive library of templates and components today. Try Mocky for Confluence and Mocky for Jira.

Further Reading:


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