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Four Steps To A Website Mockup

Do you have a great design idea for your new website or website relaunch? Then let’s get started with the first drafts: Wireframes and mockups help you make important design decisions before the proposal is implemented. This saves you time, money, and effort because it is immediately apparent whether a new design is convincing or not. But how do you go about creating a design proposal for a website? We clarify the terminology and show you how to get to the website mockup step by step.

Four Steps To The Perfect Website Mockup

A design process, starting with the idea and finished implementation, must always be planned in detail and continuously checked. The following four steps will show you how to get the perfect website mockup for your page.

  1. Sketch: Always start with a sketch, in the simplest case with pen and paper. Record your first ideas and use them to create the basis for your website.
  2. Wireframe: After the first drafts, you can draw the wireframes. This defines which elements will be on the future website and where they should be arranged. Perform the first usability tests and clarify the result with everyone involved.
  3. Mockup: In the next step, the mockups are created based on the wireframes. Determine which colors, typography, content elements, etc., the page should have and how the users navigate in detail. Mockups can either be graphics or clickable versions (so-called click dummies).
  4. Design Iterations: Typically, designs must go through multiple iterations. Get regular feedback from the team and end-users throughout all design phases (especially steps 2 through 3). This feedback will help you to improve the designs and avoid unnecessary efforts continuously.

What Is A Website Mockup?

A website mockup is a graphic or clickable version (dummy) in web design intended to depict the future website in as much detail as possible. It defines the clear typography, the content elements, and the navigation of the page. A website mockup thus serves as a graphic basis for the design implementation of a website.

What Are Wireframes?

Wireframes are very simplified, first versions of a website, with which the design, for example, the positioning and the size of the individual elements of the page, is shown schematically. The aim is to determine the content and arrangement of the individual elements of the website.

The following points are defined in the wireframe:

  1. What does the website include?
  2. Where is the information arranged?
  3. How does the user find the information they are looking for (user guidance)?

Wireframes usually have boxes with placeholders for the later elements. These are finally displayed statically. Accompanying texts that describe the content in more detail are helpful in this regard. In practice, wireframes are produced either with special tools or by hand or with the simplest technological support. In any case, use these prototypes for the first usability tests before you start refining – the change effort is still manageable at this point.

What Are Mockups?

Once the wireframes have been made, alleged mockups follow. These draft plans are substantially more point by point and mirror the resulting plan of the site as exactly as could be expected, for instance, the typography utilized, the tones, and the last debut of the page. Mockups serve to introduce the group and all partners engaged with definite drafts of the later side. All those involved would now be able to get a decent impression of the plan draft and choose whether the site ought to be executed along these lines.

What Is The Difference Between A Website Mockup And A Wireframe?

A wireframe is a rough, static site plan and characterizes the particular components’ substance, capacities, and course of action. The primary point is to check whether the idea is justifiable and can even be executed. The future site is envisioned in however much detail as could reasonably be expected in a mockup. Tones, text styles and sizes, pictures, illustrations, and insights concerning the substance components are now characterized in the mockup. 

Both are types of representation for new sites however have various goals. The wireframe is utilized in an early origination stage to address the later plan in an exceptionally improved structure and to have the option to settle on choices about content components and their situating. A mockup is made dependent on the wireframe and shows the nitty-gritty plan of things to come. The “look and feel” of the site would thus be able to be better evaluated.

The Best Wireframe And Mockup Tools

Adobe Photoshop

Since a mockup should look as detailed and realistic as possible, the well-known Adobe Photoshop software is usually used. Photoshop offers many design options, but using this program is complex and time-consuming. If you are new to Photoshop, you will need to familiarize yourself with it. The creation of a mockup can therefore be relatively labor-intensive for newbies.


This tool is available as a web version and can also be downloaded as a desktop version. The operation of Balsamiq is simple and intuitive, but creating more complex mockups is not possible. The tool is suitable for beginners.


With Axure, complex mockups and even click dummies can be created. This tool offers many templates, ready-made elements, and numerous other functions. As a beginner, you should bring some training time until you have a good overview of all functions.


This open-source software is a free desktop version and can be used without a license. Thanks to its handy drag-and-drop editor and countless templates, Pencil is ideal for beginners and guarantees convincing results quickly.


This mockup tool is available as a pure web application. Moqups offers a drag-and-drop editor, stencils, and many functions to create simple mockups and click dummies. This tool is available as a free version with the option of a chargeable upgrade.


Mockingbird is a free, web-based application that does not need to be downloaded. This tool is clear and offers various modules and templates. This tool is suitable for both beginners and advanced users.

Website Mockup PSD To Personalize

For less complex cases, a supposed PSD mockup is regularly accessible. This implies free or paid mockup layouts in PSD design that you can customize with Photoshop, Gimp, and comparative altering programs. Site mockup formats of this sort enjoy the benefit of making the architect’s work a lot more straightforward and quicker, as numerous components that would somehow be carefully made are as of now there. The PSD design gives vital editability and, most importantly, high-goal illustrations to introduce the substance of the site mockup properly.

Conclusion: From The First Idea To The Website Mockup

The graphic design of a new website creates an optimal basis for all other design decisions. The implementation of such wireframes and mockups is easier than expected. There are now a few tools out there that make it easy to create design prototypes. From the first idea to the finished website, it is a long way to finish web design. So don’t be afraid of design iterations and embrace any feedback to create the perfect mockup for your website.


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