i need to prepare some user journey flows and wireframes for a mobile application. Omnigraffle is my tool of choice. the wireframes are intended to be presented digitally, as PDF. i will eventually need to import them into an InDesign document which contains A4 Landscape pages.

the question is: what would be the best document/canvas size to use in Omnigraffle, so when i later import the materials to InDesign, things will remain proportional and easily read? i am mostly concerned about text/font size.

for example, in one occasion i am using one of Konigi's UX templates (http://konigi.com/tools/omnigraffle-ux-template). when imported to an InDesign, and scaled down to fit an A4 Landscape document, text gets tiny and barely readable.

any suggestions?

  • The best size is 'actual size'.
    – DA01
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 23:31
  • say you have a 10-step user journey of a mobile app which includes 10 different actual-size vectors of an iphone, each showing a different screen of the app. how would you squeeze that into a PDF of appropriate size which could be easily read and viewed on a desktop computer?
    – user25916
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 23:48
  • There's no one answer to that. It would all depend on the size of your desktop computer's screen/resolution and how detailed your individual screens are.
    – DA01
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 23:49
  • But, in general, I like to keep things 'actual size' as if it were printed. For an 8.5x11 piece of paper, that means I'd typically get 2 annotated mobile screens on one sheet (or, in the case of a PDF, one 'desktop screen')
    – DA01
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 23:50

2 Answers 2


I would say it depends on who is going to view your deliverables.

  1. If the person going to view the proposed wireframe is just looking at it from the perspective of trying to understand the general elements which are going to be in the design and is not concerned about the relative sizing and fonts being used,then a rough wireframe drawn on a sheet of paper can serve the purpose.

  2. However if you are going to present your wireframes to a client or even a manager who wants to look at it from a design perspective and see what all elements are going to be there and how they fit into the screen and what would be the relative sizing, I would recommend going as close to the size specifications of the form factor you are going to be designing for.

In either cases, I would recommend sticking as close as possible to the actual size since it gives a better frame of reference to the design. The size of the document will depend on the viewing device you have but there is no rule which says that you need to utilize all of the space and you can always utilize the remaining space on the document page for showing inputs and user flow or a secondary wireframe. Here is an example of a wireframe which has been translated into a pdf.

enter image description here

The key thing to note here is that we tried to keep the eventual wireframe specifications as close to the final design (in terms of screen usage and fonts) and utilized the available screen space in the document for adding additional notes.


For the most part, digital wireframes are more useful both for designing and for documentation. However if you need to have them on paper, the chances are that they are needed for archiving or for reviewing. In that case, I would recommend sticking to whatever the standard paper size is wherever you are.

That is typically Letter or A4.

  • i don't need to have them on paper, but i need them to be in a size/format that is optimized for digital viewing. in Omnigraffle, i create wireframes using stencils that are sized to work in 100% at 1:1 ratio in terms of pixels. then, when i scale down the wireframe in order to fit an A4 paper (i.e. standard size for digital viewing) the wireframe gets too small, especially the text elements in it.
    – user25916
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 23:43
  • @user25916 digital viewing sizes depend on what you are using to view them. Paper size is only a limitation in place to be able to print them.
    – JohnGB
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 23:52
  • thanks for your reply. that brings me back to my original question: What is the best PDF size and orientation for ideal digital viewing on average desktop / computer screens?
    – user25916
    Commented Feb 16, 2013 at 14:00

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