People pay lots of money for various wireframe tools. There are wireframe tools for all flavors of OSes but none of them have really appealed to me. In my work, my deliverables are not wireframes so my advice may not apply to all. However I think even people who do deliver wireframes can benefit from this simple technique. It’s so easy anyone can do it. Even if you are used to using wireframe tools, you might want to give this a shot because of how fast you can test out your ideas.

All you need are three things:

  • iPhone
  • paper pad
  • pen

You start out by drawing a rectangle the size of the iPhone screen. Then you just start drawing your UI within that rectangle. Draw how your app would look like. If you have many screens, draw those screens too.

Next take pictures of those screens, making sure that each screen fills up the entire camera view. Now, just load up the Photos app and pull up those screenshots. Viola you have a ghetto wireframe that you can see on your phone, You can move your thumbs over it and see if it feels right. You can swipe and go to the next screen. You can swipe back and go back to the screen you came from.

This is a super quick and dirty way to mock something up and test out some theories. What I have here took less than 5 minutes and the great thing is that anyone can do this. I had 3 screens that I wanted to think through. Doing this made it feel more real and I was able to improve upon the designs. Putting it on the phone got me thinking about things I wish I could do with the app that I wouldn’t have thought of if I was just staring at it on the computer screen.

You might say, that’s great Pek, but I can’t draw to save my life. In case you haven’t seen my chicken scratch, but I can’t really draw either. If you don’t feel confident in your skills then you can rely on something like this

I think this useful when you want to get slightly higher fidelity than the sketches but that higher fidelity comes at the cost of additional time.

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