From my own experience, I guess you may categorise the web site design process into two sections: the design procedure that doesn't work with a mockups, and the the one that does. Having been for both sides of this fence, I've a comprehension of how these two processes work and even though designing with out a wireframe really does work, I'd personally need to vote to be replaced by them.
Wireframing, the development of a "visual blueprint", must not be overly complicated. At most basic level, I've come across wireframes which might be simply are number of post-it notes with all the gui (UI) elements drawn on them. They are then placed onto a notepad to indicate the structural layout. Compare this to wireframes produced through design software and you'll visit a better refined wireframe over the latter, but no matter how you intend to build your structural model, it feels right always precisely the same. Simply put, it shows yourself, the consumer or some other party where things will likely be located on the page.
This is sometimes a live saver if you are making a website to get a client. Rediscovering the reassurance of my era of due to being on "side A" in the fence, when producing a website for a client I never used to execute any wireframing process in those days. The complete process was comprised of: gathering requirements, spec'ing your website, creating the graphical UI and then building the website once the design have been agreed. The main flaw I came across on this process is the risk of the client attempting to affect the main layout quite considerably. I'd haven't any problem whenever they simply want to tweak things here and there e.g. colours, make text larger, add some more images in some places, increase the risk for video a lttle bit bigger (the most common stuff); nevertheless it was obviously a ton more painful should they then desire to move unique about about the page that directly affected the "page template". Jumping up to "side B" with the fence and producing the wired layout for that site implies that layout could be agreed beforehand in the knowledge that when the UI design is presented, you may then only need to update the most common stuff.
The need to Spell against each other for Clients
Even when presenting a wireframe to a client though, I have had occasions where they will be unwilling to sign this part off on the grounds which it looks very "blocky" and "plain". "Yes it does" will be my immediate reply to this because these blocks will determine where we're going to put things on the lovely page to ensure once you get back to me afterwards once you have reviewed the graphical design, you can't then notify me why's the navigation up here rather than over there? Believe me, I've had clients similar to this before so even if producing a wireframe, there may be when you will still have to spell it out until this is solely to obtain the layout correct first of all, then we'll make use of the pretty small bit with it afterwards.
An Arsenal of Design Software
You don't need to necessarily know your way around Adobe software as a way to produce some decent wireframes. I take advantage of an internet tool, Cacoo, to make mine. This online software allows you to drag and drop pre-created elements to your page. This will save lots of time along the way.?
As with everything web related, everyone can have their particular opinion about this topic, but my own preference is with a wireframe every time I'm designing an internet site. Whether it's for the client and for my own, personal site, no matter because it implies that the UI design is sped up because you're effectively working coming from a template.
When you're focusing on a project for the client, then looking to have Joe Bloggs sign from the wires before you begin on the UI is part of this design procedure that I'd call fundamental to ensuring that you maintain good budget and time management techniques over a project.