Skip to main content
  1. Learn center
  2. Design & UX
  3. How-tos
  4. How to use Cacoo’s online wireframe tool to design user-friendly websites and apps

How to use Cacoo’s online wireframe tool to design user-friendly websites and apps

How-tosDesign & UXCacoo
Cacoo Staff

Cacoo Staff

August 21, 2023

Much like a builder wouldn’t build a house without architectural blueprints, tech teams shouldn’t build websites and apps without solid wireframes. 

Wireframes are a central component of developing any new website or app, providing a visual representation of the structure and functions of a digital property. They specify the design developers should follow, documenting the flow of a page, the functionalities that must be included, and the position of various elements. 

Wireframes aren’t just a visual aid, however. They’re also a powerful planning tool, enabling teams of designers, marketers, and developers to collaborate on designs that create memorable user experiences. Wireframes are an invaluable platform for teams to test and validate ideas and share feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders – from customers to executives. 

Leveraging wireframes effectively demands tech teams use a sophisticated platform that empowers individual contributors to work together seamlessly. An online wireframe tool presents the perfect solution, enabling remote teams to ideate, create, and refine user-friendly website and app wireframes. 

Cacoo: a powerful online wireframe tool

Cacoo is a software development online diagramming tool that offers technical teams a simple yet powerful platform to create and share website and app wireframes. Today, Cacoo is used by tens of thousands of teams around the world. 

The platform’s wireframing tool comes with a wide range of features, including:

  • Wireframe templates: Cacoo comes with a wide range of pre-built templates to streamline the wireframing process, including wireframes for websites, landing pages, iOS apps, mobile apps, and more. 
  • Drag-and-drop elements, icons, and shapes: The built-in shape library contains all the icons, shapes, and buttons teams need to add new elements to their designs quickly. 
  • Collaboration features: Teams can work together more effectively when they use Cacoo. Popular collaboration features include comments, chat, video calling, and more. 
  • Cloud storage: All wireframes are stored in Cacoo’s cloud-based platform, making it easy for team members to access their work wherever they are. 
  • Integrations to popular enterprise applications: Cacoo integrates seamlessly with a wide variety of enterprise applications your team already relies on, including Slack, Google Docs, Adobe Creative Cloud, and more. 

It’s easy to get started with interactive wireframing in Cacoo. We will walk you through creating, sharing, and refining website and mobile app wireframes in Cacoo. 

Why use wireframes in Cacoo?

Today, all kinds of businesses use wireframing as part of their design process. It’s easy to see why: wireframes provide a simple, visual overview of the proposed design of a new website, app, or system. 

Adopting wireframing helps technical teams ensure that their proposed designs fulfill the requirements of the task at hand. Great apps and websites aren’t just beautifully designed – they’re also functional. A wireframe helps teams balance these competing priorities, make quick changes in response to feedback, and gradually iterate toward a final design that everyone is happy with. 

Finding the right online wireframing tool is key to your team’s success. As recently as a few years ago, many teams relied on physical whiteboards to diagram key webpages and app workflows. Today, with the growing adoption of remote work and increasing sophistication of technology, there are many better solutions out there. 

As a purpose-built online diagramming tool, we’re confident Cacoo is among the very best of them. The platform balances affordability with a wide range of features that unlock all kinds of benefits for users. There’s a user-friendly interface that’s easy for teams to learn, with dozens of templates and a simple drag-and-drop wireframe builder. 

What really sets Cacoo apart is its collaboration features. Unlike other online wireframe tools, Cacoo isn’t just a wireframing tool; it’s a hub for creative and technical teams. Teams can work together closely on complex diagrams, exchange comments, share wireframes in various formats, and even hop on a video call without even leaving the Cacoo app. 

It’s a bold new way to manage online wireframing that makes the process easy and fun for everyone without sacrificing any of the advanced features sophisticated wireframes demand. Best of all – it’s free to get started with Cacoo, making it easy for anyone to try Cacoo out to see if it’s a good fit for their team. 

A guide to creating website and app wireframes in Cacoo

Regardless of the type of wireframe you need to make, you’ll find Cacoo to be a great resource that helps your team bring its vision to life. Follow along as we walk through six simple steps to creating website and app wireframes in Cacoo. 

If you like, you can set up a free Cacoo account and create your own wireframe as you read on. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have a solid foundation for your next design project that you use to kickstart the process. 

Step 1: Planning your wireframe

The wireframing process, like all other design projects, starts with a period of planning. It can be tempting to leap straight into Cacoo and start drafting up exciting designs, but that’s rarely the right approach. 

Instead, take a more measured approach that considers the broader objectives of the website or app you’ve been tasked with designing. Before opening Cacoo, take the time to think through key elements of your design, particularly the information hierarchy and how you’d like users to navigate through your website or app. Consider creating a wireframe map that outlines how each wireframe is located within the customer journey. 

Consult with other members of your team, particularly those that have assigned the project. It’s essential to understand their priorities as well as the overarching business goals of the wireframe before setting out to create a design. 

Once you’ve gathered information from various stakeholders and organized your thoughts, you can start creating your wireframe. 

Step 2: Creating your wireframe

You have two main options when creating a wireframe: using a pre-built template or creating a wireframe from scratch. For most users, using one of Cacoo’s pre-built wireframing templates is the best option, at least initially. Cacoo comes with a wide range of wireframing templates, including:

You can use any of these templates or others not listed here to start creating your wireframe. To begin the process, click on the Template icon from your Cacoo dashboard, then browse the available templates and select the one most appropriate to your task. 

Note: You’ll find the wireframing templates under the Diagramming & Modeling category.  

In this example, we’re going to use the website wireframe template. Once you select it, you’ll be routed to a blank website wireframe, ready to be customized with the design of your website.  

To start building your own wireframe from scratch, simply click + Create diagram from the Cacoo dashboard. A blank diagram will open, and you can add your own elements, icons, and shapes. Need some inspiration? Check out these must-see wireframe examples

Step 3: Adding elements, icons, and shapes

Every template contains a suggested structure, but there’s no need to stick to it. Adapt the template to your design needs by adding various elements, icons, and shapes. 

While this is a crucial part of the process, you don’t need to get too granular. A wireframe is intended to show a skeleton structure. There’s no need, for example, to source the exact images you want on your website – experts say you should never include visuals on wireframes

Instead, use a generic image icon, as in the example below, to demonstrate where you’d like the image to be, and then add a comment or sticky note containing some guidance around the image. 

Cacoo provides users with a wide selection of elements, icons, and shapes in a UI kit included in every template. In our website wireframe template, you’ll find all the elements you need to design a great website, including various headings, buttons, form fields, images, and more. 

To add any of these elements to your wireframe, simply drag and drop the element you’d like to include from the UK kit to your wireframe. 

If you don’t see the exact element you’d like to use, check out Cacoo’s shape library for more options. To access the shape library, click the Shape icon on the toolbar on the left of your screen. At first, you’ll see basic shapes, but to access more advanced assets, select More Shapes, then click on the Wireframes category to view a selection of shapes tailored for wireframing projects. You’ll also find additional assets under the Icons tab. 

Step 4: Customizing the appearance and layout of your wireframe

Once you’ve completed all the basic design elements of your wireframe, it’s time to customize your existing design to be more attuned to your brand and business. You might, for example, choose to replace the gray colorways in the template with brighter colors that reflect your brand. 

It’s easy to edit the formatting of your Cacoo wireframes. Click on the element you want to change, whether that’s a button or a text box. A formatting bar will appear, with options to change the color, shade, line style, and more. Hyperlinks to external resources can also be added here. Select multiple elements simultaneously by clicking and dragging your cursor over several elements. 

You may want to add assets to your wireframe that aren’t available in Cacoo, such as your business’s logo. Selecting the Import icon on the toolbar allows you to upload images from your device or your enterprise cloud.

Step 5: Adding notes and comments

To help your teammates understand your wireframe, it’s important to add additional commentary and resources to your template. These notes help your colleagues understand the logic behind your design choices, flag areas where you need further input, and demonstrate the relationships between different elements of your project. 

Cacoo provides users with a variety of ways to handle this communication. Users can add sticky notes to their wireframes or use the comment function to attach a comment to a specific design element. Comments are particularly useful, allowing users to tag teammates and track responses. 

To add a comment, select the Comment icon from the toolbar, click the element you’d like to comment on, and then write your comment. Tagging team members sends them a notification. 

Collaborating on wireframes in Cacoo

Once you’ve completed the steps outlined here, your wireframe will be taking shape. But wireframing is rarely a solo sport. You’ll need to seek your team’s input – whether that’s checking the layout with your marketing manager or validating certain functions with your software development team. 

Although you can download your wireframe and share it in a PDF, PPT, or various other file formats, the best approach is often to collaborate on your wireframe in Cacoo itself. 

To get started, read our guide to adding team members to your Cacoo account to ensure everyone can access your wireframe. Once everyone is logged in, collaboration is seamless. In addition to the comment feature outlined above, users can start live chats or video calls to work through more complex issues. 

You’ll see your teammates’ cursors as they work on your wireframe. Suppose you need to go back and understand who made specific changes or when they were made. In that case, Cacoo’s revision history features work almost as a time machine, helping users understand how their wireframe has evolved over time. 

To view a wireframe’s revision history, click the History icon on the bottom right of your screen. A column will appear displaying the various versions of your document, along with time stamps and the identity of the person responsible for each version. 

How design teams and tech team leads can use Cacoo wireframes

Wireframes are an extremely popular design tool for a reason: they save time in the development process and help teams work together more effectively. Your team can use Cacoo’s online wireframe tool in a variety of ways, including:

  • Clarifying the structure of a website or app: Wireframes are extremely useful in enabling teams to define the hierarchy, navigation, content, and functionality of every page of a website or app, ensuring a consistent user experience. 
  • Testing and validating ideas: Use wireframes to experiment with new design concepts, quickly generating visual representations of new concepts and ideas to evaluate their feasibility. 
  • Facilitating collaboration and gathering feedback: An online wireframing tool like Cacoo enables teams to collaborate and share quality feedback in real time, streamlining the development process and driving improved productivity. 

Cacoo also supports a range of tasks that complement wireframing, such as site mapping, mind mapping, customer journey mapping, and many others.

Integrating Cacoo with other tools

For your team to embrace any new software platform, it’s vital that the new tool slots in seamlessly to existing workflows and processes. Key to this are integrations with the existing tools that your team already relies on every day. 

Cacoo connects seamlessly with a wide variety of popular enterprise applications. Team members can subscribe to receive notifications on Slack and Microsoft Teams whenever other team members update their diagrams. 

Wireframes can also be exported from Cacoo in just a few clicks. Just click the Export / Print icon in the top right corner and select the format you want to export your wireframe. 

Alternatively, you can export your wireframe directly to cloud storage platforms, including Google Drive and Dropbox. Integrations to cloud storage platforms are two-way, meaning you can also import images and other attachments stored on these platforms. 

These tools and many others can be integrated with Cacoo by navigating to the Settings tab, selecting Integrations, and following the application-specific instructions. Our Help Center contains comprehensive step-by-step guides for every integration. 

Create a wireframe in Cacoo today

Wireframing is the foundation of the software development process, helping teams worldwide create meaningful digital experiences that enrich consumers’ lives every day. Success demands the right tools, and in Cacoo, technical teams have everything they need for success. 

Don’t just take our word for it: listen to what our users say. Over 2 million people use Cacoo, including many leading businesses. Here’s one positive review: 

“A robust, simple, and fairly priced wireframing tool that allows building great mockups for marketing and product managers.”

– Max S, Director of Customer Success

Ready to get started using Cacoo’s online wireframe tool? We’re excited to see what you create. Sign up for a free Cacoo account now, or browse our paid plans to find the option that’s best suited to your business’s needs.  


Subscribe to our newsletter

Learn with Nulab to bring your best ideas to life