From my own experience, I suppose you may categorise the site design process into two sections: the structure process that doesn't utilize a prototyping tool, and the one that does. Being on sides of the fence, I've a knowledge of how both of these processes work and although designing without a wireframe really does work, I'd personally must vote in preference of them.
Wireframing, the roll-out of a "visual blueprint", needn't be overly complicated. At the most basic level, I've seen wireframes which might be are simply group of post-it notes with all the gui (UI) elements stolen them. They're then placed onto a piece of paper to exhibit the structural layout. Compare this to wireframes produced through design software and you may go to a better refined wireframe from the latter, but regardless of how you intend to create your structural model, it feels right always the identical. The bottomline is, it shows yourself, the buyer or some other party where things is going to be located on the page.
This may be a realtime saver if you're producing a website for a client. Going back to my era of located on "side A" from the fence, when producing a website for the client Irrrve never accustomed to accomplish any wireframing process in the past. The entire process consisted of: gathering requirements, spec'ing your website, allowing the graphical UI after which building the website in the event the design ended up agreed. The major flaw I ran across on this process will be the potential for the consumer attempting to change the main layout quite considerably. I'd have zero problem should they just want to tweak things occasionally e.g. colours, make text larger, atart exercising . more images in some places, make the video somewhat bigger (the typical stuff); but it was obviously a good deal more painful whenever they then desire to move numerous things about for the page that directly affected the "page template". Jumping up to "side B" from the fence and producing the wired layout to the site signifies that layout can be agreed beforehand knowing that once the UI design is presented, you may then just need to update the typical stuff.
The need to Spell out for Clients
Even when presenting a wireframe into a client though, I have had occasions where they would be not wanting to sign this part off on the basis who's looks very "blocky" and "plain". "Yes it does" could be my immediate answer to this since these blocks will determine where we'll put things in your lovely page so that once you come back to me at a later date once you have reviewed the graphical design, you simply can't then inform me why is the navigation up here rather than over there? Remember that, I have had clients this way previously so even when making a wireframe, there may be occasions when you still should spell it until this is solely to get the layout correct to start with, then we'll apply the pretty small bit to it afterwards.
A collection of Design Software
You don't need to necessarily know your path around Adobe software in order to produce some decent wireframes. I prefer a web-based tool, Cacoo, to generate mine. This online software enables you to drag and drop pre-created elements to your page. This could save time and effort along the way.?
Like with everything web related, everyone may have their particular opinion on this topic, but my own, personal preference is to use a wireframe each and every time I'm designing a website. Whether it is for a client or my personal site, it does not matter mainly because it implies that the UI design is hasten because you're effectively working from a template.
When you're working on a job for a client, then planning to have Joe Bloggs sign over wires before you begin about the UI is a part of this design procedure that I'd personally call fundamental to making sure that you maintain good budget and personal time management over a project.