Wireframes play an important role regardless of the project, especially when designing a mobile app. A wireframe is an intermediate step between an interactive prototype and a low-fidelity sketch. A mobile wireframe differs significantly from a desktop wireframe. Wireframing follows a variety of paths to reach hi-fi design. In contrast, some brands prefer going directly from sketches to coding. The typical design process consists of the following steps:

  • Sketch (Conceptual level) 
  • Wireframe (Component level) 
  • Mock/Prototype (Styles level/Interactions level) 
  • Code

The product design process is a multi-stage process. The first step of the process should be separate from wireframing. It is essential to conduct user research before creating wireframes. Qualitative and quantitative research data will serve as a guide during wireframing. We have created a guide to help you understand wireframes, how to create them, and how they fit into the design process. We will provide you with step-by-step instructions to help you get started. Additionally, it will make it easier to create design concepts quickly.

What Is a Wireframe for an app?

Wireframes are two-dimensional sketches that serve as visual aids. It shows how the application will work. The wireframe represents only a few key elements of the app’s design, not the whole thing. Wireframes can help app owners and developers clarify the direction and scope of a project. As a part of Mobile app development, wireframes have become an integral part of web design and computer-aided design (CAD). Wireframes for mobile apps are created using boxes, gray lines, shapes, and placeholders. Therefore, wireframes do not contain detailed design elements like logos, images, and font specifications. The plan is essentially the same as a schematic diagram or architectural plan. Designers of User Experiences (UX) often develop it to inspire developers to start the development process.

Wireframes Types

As stated earlier, wireframes differ from one another. You should alter your approach to wireframing depending on the type of app you intend to build. The wireframing process may involve sketching on paper for certain projects. Prototypes are very closely related to final products for others. Communicating design ideas effectively is the key to both cases. Generally, designers use three types of wireframes for mobile apps:

  • A low-fidelity wireframe
  • A mid-fidelity wireframe
  • A high-fidelity wireframe

When wireframing, you should remember that not all wireframes are the same. Stakeholders may agree to a less detailed wireframe in some cases. Regardless of the case, make sure you constantly test, innovate, and implement your feedback. Here are some types of wireframes you might encounter.

Low-Fidelity Wireframe 

Wireframing at its simplest. Low-fidelity wireframes are less detailed visual representations of content hierarchy and page structure. It establishes project goals and user flow, focusing on user workflow. Mobile wireframes usually include placeholder images, blocks, filler text, etc.

Mid-Fidelity Wireframe 

Low-fi wireframes are significantly improved over this type. Despite omitting high-level details like exact images, the algorithm now adds greater refinement. Mid-fi wireframes contain varying text weights and appropriate spacing between content blocks. Color variation is expressed with shades of gray, not white and black.

High-Fidelity Wireframe

The highest quality wireframe is pixel-specific and most detailed. They use final copies, text hierarchy, hover states, and other UI elements to represent everything that goes into the final design.

What’s the Difference Between a Mockup, a Wireframe, and a Prototype?

Wireframes are frequently confused with two other design components. Therefore, it’s crucial to distinguish them. Mobile wireframes, mockups, and prototypes are all part of the early stages of app development. There is a significant difference between these diagrams based on the level of fidelity.

Therefore, they serve different purposes and are applied at different stages of development. A wireframe is the lowest-fidelity design, followed by a mockup, and a prototype is the highest. Below is a list of their application order.

  • Wireframes

In any design project, wireframes are the first step. Wireframes are used to communicate ideas during the initial stages of design. Even though high-fidelity wireframes can be clicked on or simulated, they do not present the final look of the app.

  • Mockup

Mockups are more detailed and realistic than wireframes. So they might be considered a step further. Despite being static, it contains more UI and visual details. Colors, graphics, and typography replace gray lines and placeholders in the wireframe at this stage. A navigation bar and actual buttons are also included. Mockups improve feedback received at the wireframe stage by focusing on the user’s interpretation of the brand.

  • Prototype

Prototypes improve mockups with high-fidelity UI elements and animations at the top. The prototype behaves and acts like the final product, unlike high-fidelity wireframes. Before proceeding with development, you can use them to find potential problems. Prototypes, mockups, and wireframes all play a role in app development. It is possible to create each of these using various digital tools.

The Process Flow For Creating User-Centric App Wireframes

Wireframing is crucial to mobile app development, so ensuring you do it right is vital. You can follow practical, easy-to-follow steps from developing a user flow concept to creating a prototype. This article will take ten steps to create the ideal user-centric mobile app wireframe.

1. Identify the flow of your target user.

Defining your target user’s flow is crucial before you begin writing. Users can use a user flow to describe the specific steps they will take to complete a task. Using this chart, you can define how users will interact with your app’s screens and the number of screens you want to include. The user flow gives designers an idea of how their wireframes should look. Basic shapes such as boxes and arrows are often used in user flow diagrams.

A user flow may not always be linear since users can take different paths while executing the same task. Whatever their form, user flows must always be simple and clear. At this stage, you may collect user feedback based on the nature of your project. Building the choice workflow for future app users often involves getting input from them.

2. Create a sketch of the core elements.

You must visualize the core elements of your app once you have defined its user flow. Initially, you can outline and then refine it as you see fit. Create a sketch of the user’s interaction in the main stages. There are usually three of these: the entry point, the steps to completion, and the final interaction. This path is an easy way to represent the user flow for every target action visually. Stick to paper at this point and avoid any digital tools. You need creativity and flexibility at this point, which this decision can help you achieve. Try to visualize your target user’s flow while sketching it. How does a particular app page serve its purpose? Does it assist the user in achieving their goal(s)? To get the best possible working sketch, provide answers to these questions, get feedback, and iterate.

3. Build a mobile frame

As you proceed with wireframing, you’ll need to define a particular frame. In addition to forcing you to optimize space on each screen, frames provide structure and closely mimic working prototypes. Ideally, you should use a rectangle whose dimensions are the same as your target devices. Designing for different devices is always an issue, but starting with a base model is a good place to start. Apps for iOS may find this much easier. Apple’s iPhone SE dimensions are ideal for designing iOS devices in 2021. 

Android devices, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated because they come in many different sizes. Here, you must pay attention to the target devices’ aspect ratios.

4. Choosing a layout is based on boxes.

Wireframing now includes the main tasks. The first step is to establish a visual hierarchy for your content. To achieve this, you must create a layout that uses boxes of different sizes. In this wireframe, the focus is not on the content but its structure and presentation. Each layout box should represent the user’s process of processing information on each page. It is important to cater to this need regarding the box sizes and the order in which they are placed. From left to right, larger boxes should contain the most important information. Mobile screens are usually scanned in this order by users.

5. Implement Design Patterns

Familiarity is an essential property of good UX design. UI elements in a brand-new product may depend on a person’s prior experience. The native design patterns of Android and iOS make it easy for designers to craft a familiar experience. As reusable content blocks, design patterns are useful for resolving common problems like global navigation. Most mobile navigation uses top-level navigation, floating action buttons (FABs), side drawers, and bottom tab bars. E-commerce mobile apps can use these patterns to create simple navigation paths.

6. Make sure you bring the original copy.

Replace placeholders and dummy text with actual content once you have completed your visual hierarchy. In this stage, avoid dummy text because it fails to show how the page supports the users’ goals. Moreover, every visual element we create depends on our products’ content. Once you add actual content, you will realize that some UI elements are unnecessary. Filling in your wireframes with accurate details will reveal that the layout needs to be fixed. As a result, you should iterate and create a better way to communicate the information. Afterwards, you need to check whether the page flows for the user. It may not be easy to find useful content on your page. It is now your turn to reorganize the content of your page and improve its composition.

7. Optimize Your Content for Scalability

Designing for a medium-sized phone screen will translate poorly to larger screens. During wireframing, it’s important to look at how content looks on different screen sizes.

8. Create a flow between the pages

You can transfer your design using a collection of screens. However, it would be better to follow a flow. Your team can better understand interaction scenarios with UX flows. Consequently, you can communicate the user experience clearly and concisely.

9. Test the design and decide on it

Testing is the final step of wireframing. As testing involves user interaction, prototypes are usually used. Testing a flow is easy with wireframes. Creating clickable prototypes for mobile apps is possible with wireframes. A screening test is conducted to determine whether such screens work together effectively.


Mobile app development has become increasingly reliant on wireframes. A good app wireframe is essential for understanding your app and users better. The process also optimizes your design resources and time. This article shared vital tips and tools for creating an app wireframing that will serve you well for a long time. Wireframing your mobile app can be as simple as mapping out the user flow and prototyping it.